by Danielle Crume
If you stop at a 7-Eleven instead of going directly home after a day of target practice at the rifle range, you could be arrested according to new gun laws enacted as of January 2013. The existing law states that unloaded handguns cannot be openly carried in public areas, which is defined as an incorporated city. To legally transport a handgun it must be unloaded and in a locked container with ammunition contained separately. A person must have a specific, legal intention to transport the firearm.
This means that a person may only transport the firearm directly to and from a gunsmith, gun range, or hunting grounds, and can be arrested on subjective definition of “legal intention.” In Assembly Bill 1527, the law is amended so that unloaded rifles or long guns are included along with handguns.
Secondly, the prohibited areas to openly carry will now extend to public roads and public highways. There are additional penalties if the owner possesses ammunition for that firearm. These trivial measures are not so much for public safety, but to make it more difficult to transport, own, and use a firearm legally. Since the law does not seriously restrict gun rights, people tend to tolerate and accept it.
The recently enacted Senate Bill 1367 states that a hunter cannot have a firearm in his possession while bowhunting. It is such an obscure law pertaining to only a few individuals that it is not worth the cost of new legislation.
Instead of increasing safety, this law serves to inhibit it. The hunter, being out in the wilderness, could be attacked by a bear or mountain lion which would require a quick and effective defense that a handgun can provide. Not only do bows take a while to reload, but the user needs to be in an open space to effectively use it.
This additional legislation can easily turn good, law-abiding citizens into criminals. It allows authorities to selectively enforce the convoluted laws and imprison people for breaking them one way or another, and we shouldn’t stand for it.