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By Brandon at

The Arkansas State Fair kicked off this week and provides fun and entertainment to thousands for a 10-day stretch. And keeping fair-goers safe is a no weapons policy, says fair officials. “Open carry or concealed carry– there are no weapons allowed on the fairgrounds,” says General Manager Ralph Shoptaw. If a private property owner in Arkansas posts a ‘no weapons’ sign, you are obligated by law to respect that sign. “At the state fair if it is posted, like it is, you cannot bring a weapon in,” Little Rock Police Lt. Steven McClanahan said . . .

While I respect the wishes of a property owner, I will point out two things; one of which happened at last year’s North Carolina State Fair during their firearms ban.

Point #1

First, a concealed carry advocacy group tried to get the fair to change their minds, but it was of no use. A judge upheld the ban, and so it was.

Then one day during the fair, a group coming from the fair were robbed at gunpoint in the parking lot. These people had no way to defend themselves with the weapons ban in place, and were at the mercy of their armed attackers.

While the armed robbery didn’t happen on fair grounds, it did happen when the three people were walking back to their vehicles from the fair. If they were folks who carry concealed, they would have had to leave their firearms in their vehicles while they went into the fair. A firearm for self-defense is pretty useless inside a locked vehicle while you’re walking down the road at 11:30 at night.

Point #2

When I see these firearm bans pop up in different locations, I like to remind people of one simple fact: Millions of Americans carry firearms each day, and we rarely hear of them causing an unsafe environment for anyone.

And with those points…

I leave the Arkansas State Fair to either stand by their decision or make a change. I only hope, for fair-goers’ sake, that criminals are taking time off while the fair is open.

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      • a pan, 5 bucks worth of lard and as many twinkies as you feel you can eat will solve the problem with the munchies. Nobody is put at risk by you deep frying your own, well except you. Your cardiologist would be ecstatic if you’d opt out of going to the fair and made them at home so you could eat more of them for less money. Thus you could reserve the spare cash for the cardiologists Porche payment.

    • It would be ironic if they enforced the no gun policy against police especially Little Rock Police Lt. Steven McClanahan.

  1. Combine a liberal judge, a progressive democrat agricultural secretary and a RINO stealth left of center governor and you get a null and void law that was supposed to give, North Carolina concealed handgun permit holders, well, a permit to enter the grounds during the fair attraction.

    But it didn’t happen.

    • At least the judge and ag secretary were liberals, McCrory has no real excuse for not being conservative and Republican, and this just showed he never was.

      Another Christie or Romney. RINOs not conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, or constitutionalists.

      People, stop voting for Republicans who occupy liberal territories. Don’t forget what they had to do, to get elected in these areas.

    • “A firearm for self-defense is pretty useless inside a locked vehicle while you’re walking down the road at 11:30 at night”

      The RKBA is not only to “Keep”, but also to “Bear” .. These aspects Are Not Separable. Any supposed ‘law’ or policy asserting that free people can Keep, but conditionally not also Bear, unlawfully burdens conduct that falls within the scope of a specifically protected human right, and the USSC has already said.. is Tantamount to a Ban.

      Like the article notes: of what use are they .. if they are not present for use?

      As is typical in these cases, the robbers didn’t seem to get the same memo on not bringing their guns.

      Furthermore, the policy forming a contention of burden in order to enjoy equal access makes it an issue under the 14th, and etc, as well.

      ‘Don’t go to the fair’? Nuts to that .. (especially with harm shown in having been forced to suffer a violent crime) .. I’d Sue Them Blue.

  2. The same thing happened at the gun-free Washington State Fair, which Dean covered in Ammoland and Gun Watch. There were three robberies of state fair workers at gunpoint after hours, all carried out by the same gang of riffraff.

    • It would be fun to put up a billboard:
      The people leaving the state fair are all disarmed, please do not rob them!

      I can just see the anti gun politicians squealing about that one, like the stuck bunch of pigs they truly are.

  3. I’d be interested in understanding just how a state fair – ostensibly one of the largest public events of the year, can be considered privately owned. Just saying. Bunch of silly babies.


    • @Tom: Wondering that myself. What is the political or business structure of a State Fair that makes it private? Doesn’t the State or County have something to do with putting it on, renting the spaces out and so on ? If that is the case and the taxpayers are involved then it does not seem like a private venture to me. Evidently the judge disagreed. Or he/she just decided to ignore that little detail and go along with the liberal no defense zone crowd.

    • Beat me to it. Funny how thugs and scumbags either can’t read, and/or choose to ignore the “All Powerful Signage”.

      Leaving lawful citizens at a disadvantage. Right up there with a “Gun Free Zone”. They work great.

  4. Simple . . . don’t go.

    There’s plenty of other stuff to do than go to a fair to look at cows and eat over priced food that gives you heartburn.

  5. Arkansas has always been a third world shithole, so Venezuela type behavior shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    • Sorry Charles Ray, but I have to disagree with your overall assessment. Yes, Arkansas gave us Slick Willie and Hillary, and while I’ve not ever been to the State Fair, I have lived in Little Rock, Jacksonville, Hot Springs Village, and Arkadelphia as well as attended and graduated a private high school there. In short it’s a very nice state. I’ve been to Little Rock only once in the past 25 years, to attend a former classmate’s funeral, and without a doubt there are some very sketchy areas (as it was when I lived there). But the entire state is NOT a third world shithole, as you put it. Indeed, most of the state is very rural, and the northwestern half is mountainous. Let’s stay a bit more focused on the actual problems at hand, to wit, the State Fair itself.


      • @Tom

        I never thought badly of Arkansas either, but how is it that a state like this can actually prohibit people being able to defend themselves at a fair on public property? It seems really out of character.

        • It is indeed out of character. I haven’t lived in Arkansas in many years, but last I heard it was a Consitutional carry state, and overall it has very good gun laws. That’s why I’m so curious about the public/private property angle at the fair.


          • You are correct, Arkansas is a Constitutional Carry state.

            It sounds to me like the people need to get their grassroots state 2nd Amendment rights group going to get that law modified so that citizens cannot be prohibited from legally carrying on public property. We did that here in Virginia and it’s great. The local and state parks used to have laws prohibiting guns, and they can no longer get away with that.

        • And Arkansas’ Governor (Asa Hutchinson) was the architect of the NRA’s “School Shield” program. Yeah, this ban makes no sense.

      • Sorry times a thousand, but I wasted over 30 years of my life in that third world shithole called Arkansas, and I stand by my comment. Objective reality stands by my comment as well.

    • Thats BS Arkansas is a decent place and gun friendly. The people of Arkansas are now overwhelmingly Republican after that embarrassment clinton left the state.

      I can name quite a few shithole states and most of them are in the north.

      • The sign is especially bad as the state fairgrounds are located in the middle of one of the worst parts of Little Rock.

  6. Local & state government green lighting criminals to prey on its citizen.

    One nation, under God and safety for all.

    • Happy to say they can’t do that in Virginia. It’s illegal to prohibit carry on public property other than special exceptions such as courthouses, schools and airports, etc.

      • Actually the Virginia state fair is held on private property. Fair rules state “no weapons, guns or knives allowed at the event. “

  7. or folks there need to get the liability laws changed so property owners who disarm paying patrons are responsible for their safety, including on their way back to their vehicles. that will change things.

  8. A state fair is a public event paid for with taxes. Can a fair board just decide to deny me my inalienable rights just because…? I know a posted sign is a legal preempt to concealed carry BUT open carry…?

  9. The Indiana State Fair has a similar force-of-law policy. We no longer attend the Indiana State Fair.

    If you willingly go to the area of 38th and Meridian unarmed, especially at night, you’re a moron.

  10. Hey All, Long time reader, first time comment-er. I just got back from the Arkansas State fair not an hour ago, so let me add facts to be considered.

    1. I carry every day, mostly concealed (Kahr MK40 or Kahr P380) sometimes open (Springfield XD45) in every place I’m allowed to by law. I take self defense and the law extremely seriously.

    2. The Arkansas state fair is one of those ‘sketchy’ areas you hear so much about in Little Rock. I would not be caught in those particular neighborhoods, without a piece.. and if possible a friend or two with a piece as well. That said in 8 years of going to the fair, I’ve never once felt even remotely threatened. I know it only takes once, but take it as you will.

    3. Every single one of the ‘official’ parking lots are ringed with 10ft high chain link fences. The gates into and out of the parking lots are staffed by 3-4 unarmed security, and 2 or 3 armed LEO’s. I’ve seen a mix of LR City, Pulaski Co. Sheriff, and AR State Police. Inside the parking lots the same mix of unarmed security and armed LEO’s conduct patrols on ATV’s. Walking around in the parking areas I can’t say I’ve been more than a shout away from some form of security.

    4. At each actual entrance to the fair, is another checkpoint with same mix of security, and dedicated metal wanders scanning people. Every single person entering the fair grounds is checked. I actually took my niece down last night with her rabbits (She’s in 4H and had entered the show) and while we were allowed to drive up right next to the barn with her exhibitors pass, our vehicle was searched and we were wanded as well. Could I have snuck a piece in? Yea, probably, but I would have had to put some serious effort into it.

    5. Inside the fair the security looked the same as in the parking lots.. lots of police on ATVs, and they were all packing. I even noticed a small ‘command post’ on one particular side of the fair, where a large number of LEO’s were milling about, and inside small jersey barriers that were setup, I saw riot gear and flak vests. I didn’t see any heavier weapons than sidearms, but I would make a fair bet they had them and that’s where they were.

    6. Did I feel safe? Yea.. I did.. and that’s saying something for that part of the city. Did I feel a naked without my piece? Yup, absolutely. I’m 100% against the concept of ‘gun-free-zones’ by “sign” enforcement mechanisms, but if you’re going to make a gun free zone, this is how it should be done. Secure the area, secure the entrances, and have lots of dedicated capable LEO’s to instantly squash any stupidity.

    7. Since I wasn’t packing today, I was able to pound a bunch of $5 beers that were being sold everywhere, and listen to some halfway decent music, while enjoying my deep fried dough-e-oreos and chicken on a stick. That’s not normally my thing, but hey, it’s fly-over country, it’s my home, and that’s what we do here when we can’t carry. Also, Arkansas is beautiful, especially the mountains… Give it a chance if you’ve never set foot in the state, I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • I like you, look at the inability to carry as an opportunity to drink, ha. Normally I’m sipping my wife’s drink and that’s it. If I’m disarmed (wanding is a major deterrent for me) I imbibe much more. Uber is your friend then.


  11. Almost all crime in the city of Gainesvill, FL, occurs within a few blocks of the “school” campus because criminals know that anyone going to or from campus is an easy target.

  12. What might drive the point home would be for a pro-gun group to set up a tent just outside the entrance offering free armed escorts for people heading back to their cars.

  13. Easy, just don’t support this kind of show! I don’t go to movies just because of the Hollywood elite. Go a place that supports you, Be careful out there it only takes once. Watch your six at all times.

  14. It would be good to know if the fair operator is on private property as a private company, or de facto on public property as a contractor conducting the fair in the name of the state. Believe we read somewhere a case where a contractor conducting a state sanctioned event was ruled essentially an agent of the state, conducting an event on public property and could not claim private business status in order to ban weapons (guns).

  15. Lol I carried at the MN State Fair both times I went this year, signs be damned. The MN State Fair website doesn’t say anything about no guns. I checked multiple times throughout the entire website. I know the signs are there at the entrances, but if they can be missed, it’s like they’re not even there. According to MN statutes, if a private property owner wants a no-gun policy, no-gun signs are supposed to be conspicuously posted at every single entrance, and the law is very clear that the signs must be posted in such a manner that they cannot be missed. So, well shoot, I didn’t see any signs around.

  16. No gun signs have no force of law in minnesota if not called in state law.

    And here the shit in arkansas 🙁 Arkansas have a lot to learn to get gun friendly if it comes to public carry outsite home 🙁

    Do “No Gun Signs” Have the Force of Law?
    ny place at the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over the physical location of
    the place by placing at each entrance to the place a written notice clearly readable at a distance of not less
    than ten feet (10

    ) that “carrying a handgun is prohibited”.
    If the place does not have a roadway entrance, there shall be a written notice placed
    anywhere upon the premises of the place.
    In addition to the requirement of subdivision (19)(B)(i) of th
    is section, there shall be at least one
    (1) written notice posted within every three (3) acres of a place with no roadway entrance.
    A written notice as described in subdivision (19)(A) of this section is not required for a private
    Any licensee entering a private home shall notify the occupant that the licensee is carrying a
    concealed handgun.
    (b) (1)
    In addition to the places enumerated in this section, the carrying of a concealed handgun may be
    ed in any place in the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over the physical
    location of such place by the placing of a written notice clearly readable at a distance of not less than
    ten feet (10′) that the “carr
    ying of a handgun is prohibited.”
    Provided, no sign shall be required for private homes, and any licensee entering a private home shall
    notify the occupants that he is carrying a concealed handgun.
    No license issued pursuant to this subchap
    ter shall authorize the participants in a parade or demonstration
    or which a permit is required to carry a concealed handgun.
    History. Acts 1995, No.
    411, § 2; 1995, No. 419, §
    2; 1997, No. 1239, § 2.
    Note: believes when you com
    e across a busine
    ss that is posted that you
    walk away.
    That business needs to know that they lost your business because of their
    “No Gun”
    sign. Giving them a “No
    Firearms = No Money” card would do just that. You can print
    “No Firearms = No M
    cards by

  17. And the reality is that most people just ignore signs like that. Since the most that can happen if you are “made” is that you are asked to leave. At which point you comply. Problems solved.

    The reality is that you are only likely to get “made” if you have to use it. At which point the tradeoff is obvious.

    In most states these signs are the legal equivalent of a no smoking sign or a no shirts no service sign. Breaking the rule doesn’t immediately get you arrested. It gives the property owner/controller the right to ask you to leave.


  18. I would also like to see the stats on how many vehicles are broken into at these events. Forcing someone to leave their gun in their car creates a potentially more dangerous chain of events.

  19. It’s time for Oath Keepers to start providing volunteer security in the parking lots at big events like these, especially in open carry states. Let Americans see and interact with these men.

  20. Come to the Texas State fair instead. We are ok with lawful concealed carry. They do have metal detectors, but you just show the cop your CHL and they wave you on.

  21. I would like to point out a bit of irony. The Arkansas state fair grounds is the location of many a gun show. In fact there is a gun show being held there on november 7th and 8th. So the very property that at one time bans guns is teaming with them at other times.

  22. Private property nothing anyone can do. BUT boycott comes to mind No double standards put DC politicians on Obamacare and SS.Thanks for your support and vote.Pass the word.

    • If the state fair is public property such as but not limited to state property than it should be bound to follow state law or risk losing funding.

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