Arkansas: Taff v. State

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by Spats McGee, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee

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    Arkansas has a statute on the crime of "Carrying a Weapon." Ark. Code Ann. 5-73-120. For the longest time, that statute said something pretty close to "(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use." (It's early and I don't feel like doing historical legal research on only 1 cup of coffee.)

    In 2013, our General Assembly enacted Act 746. That changed the statute to say "(a) A person commits the offense of carrying a weapon if he or she possesses a handgun, knife, or club on or about his or her person, in a vehicle occupied by him or her, or otherwise readily available for use with a purpose to attempt to unlawfully employ the handgun, knife, or club as a weapon against a person."

    Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-120 (West)

    I've underlined the language that was added. There was quite the hubbub here in Arkansas with a bunch of folks claiming that we'd gone constitutional carry. I was very cautious about that, because I didn't really need one of my friends going to jail while screaming "My buddy Spats said we're constitutional carry! Ah know mah rahts!!!"

    Yesterday, the Arkansas Court of Appeals issued Taff v. State, which was an appeal from a conditional guilty plea. The trial court had denied Mr. Taff's motion to suppress, but the Court of Appeals reversed. Mr. Taff had been seen going in and out of a store several times, possibly with a gun. The store owner called it in, and the police went to check it out. The officer activated his blue lights when he saw Mr. Taff walking down the highway, turned around, and made contact with Taff. In the end, the court ruled that it was an illegal seizure and suppressed the evidence. For our purposes, here's the important part:

    Taff v. State, 2018 Ark. App. 488
     
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  2. Gary Slider

    Gary Slider

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    We have been looking for something from the courts but didn't expect it from this case. It looks to me like a Court has finally stated the 5-73-120 means exactly what it says!!!
     
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  3. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee

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    Agreed, Gary. This one came as a bit of a surprise to me.
     
  4. Sam Spade

    Sam Spade Staff Member Lifetime Member

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    So Taffy was acting just like John Terry? And the police stopped him to investigate?
     
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  5. slamdunc

    slamdunc JAFO

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    And to think, Terry was decided 50 years ago then it only took Arkansas 5 years to draw the parallel. The wheels turn slowly, but they are turning.