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Commission hears first reading of regulation concerning carry of handguns for defense while hunting

BY Randy Zellers

ON 12-14-2017


Dec. 14, 2017

Randy Zellers

Assistant Chief of Communications

LITTE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission heard the first official reading of a regulation change clarifying the carry of handguns for defensive purposes while hunting at its regularly scheduled meeting today.

Under current regulations, hunters may not carry a modern gun while participating in archery or muzzleloading seasons, unless they have a valid concealed handgun carry permit. If passed, the amendment to this regulation will clarify that people may carry a handgun (as defined by Ark. Code Ann. §5-73-120) on Commission-owned or -controlled property or while hunting, fishing or trapping on private property as long as it is: (1) for personal protection and either is not employed for hunting or is a legal killing device for a hunting season that is open, and (2) the handgun is otherwise lawfully possessed.

The proposed code amendment will be presented for final consideration and adoption at the Jan. 18, 2018 Commission meeting.

The Commission also began the interviewing process for the next director of the AGFC today. However, they are reopening the application period to offer any other candidates an opportunity to apply.

In other business, the Commission:

  • Presented Benny Magness of Baxter County with a special award for his generosity and willingness to help during the AGFC Enforcement Division’s efforts to help victims of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Magness donated manpower, gasoline and tankers to secure a reliable source of vehicle fuel during search-and-rescue efforts
  • Recognized Cpl. Chuck Willis of Monticello as the Shikar Safari Wildlife Officer of the Year, which was presented by Mike and Kay Breedlove.
  • Authorized the transfer of $727,129.05 collected from wildlife fine money to the Arkansas Division of Rural Services to be used for grants toward conservation education programs throughout the state.
  • Approved the use of outside legal counsel and the AGFC Legal Division in representation of an AGFC wildlife officer.
  • Approved the demolition of an outdated and unused fish house at the recently closed Lake Wilhelmina Net Pen Facility.
  • Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with an original cost of $272,317.64 and a current net book value of $815. 

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