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Attorney General Griffin Working with Legislative Leaders to Clarify and Strengthen Arkansas’s Overly Complicated and Complex Gun Laws

Griffin: ‘Those of us who care deeply about our Second Amendment rights owe it to Arkansans to express our laws in simple, straightforward, common-sense terms’

LITTLE ROCK – Attorney General Tim Griffin today announced that he is working with State Senators Ricky Hill (R-Cabot) and Terry Rice (R-Waldron) and Rep. Howard Beaty (R-Crossett) to address the state’s overcomplicated gun laws:

“At their core, our gun laws provide strong protection for our Second Amendment rights. But over the years, they have been adopted in a haphazard fashion, and they are currently a mess; they’re often hard to understand, and we need to fix that. Those of us who care deeply about our Second Amendment rights owe it to Arkansans to express our laws in simple, straightforward, common-sense terms.

“Upon taking office, I made simplifying our gun laws a priority, and over the past few months, law enforcement, legislators, and many others have been outspoken about the need to strengthen and simplify Arkansas’s overcomplicated gun laws. As Attorney General, I have a responsibility to work to improve our laws, and our gun laws are no exception. I am excited to work with legislative leaders—Senators Ricky Hill and Terry Rice and Rep. Howard Beaty—to address this need.

“In the past 10 years, state leaders have requested two dozen opinions about Arkansas gun laws because they’re too complicated and unnecessarily confusing. There is no reason why we can’t have gun laws that make sense without seeking the advice of a lawyer.

“I welcome input from Arkansans who share my love for the Second Amendment and our desire to strengthen and improve our laws.”

Sen. Hill, the Majority Whip, Chair of the Insurance and Commerce Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Joint Budget Committee, said, “I appreciate Attorney General Griffin partnering with us on this important mission. Our Second Amendment rights are fundamental and precious. But our gun laws aren’t easy to understand, and that’s something we need to address. We look forward to receiving input from the many stakeholders who feel passionate about this issue.”

Sen. Rice, Co-Chair of the Arkansas Legislative Council and Vice-Chair of the Committee on City, County and Local Affairs, added, “Over the years Arkansas’s gun laws have been amended in such a patchwork manner as to make them often difficult to read cohesively. I look forward to working with other leaders to tackle this project and provide clarity.”

Rep. Beaty, Vice-Chair of the Revenue and Taxation Committee and member of the Agriculture, Forestry, and Economic Development Committee, said, “I am proud to be a part of the group of leaders taking on this important task. Arkansas gun laws are strong but can be confusing. I intend to further bolster them and ensure they are easy to understand.”

Secretary of Public Safety and Director of the Arkansas State Police Mike Hagar praised Griffin’s announcement, saying, “Attorney General Griffin, Senators Hill and Rice, and Rep. Beaty are the perfect leaders to spearhead this task. The state’s law enforcement officers are in a difficult position because they are asked to enforce laws that are confusing or duplicative. I thank the Attorney General for committing to help bring clarity to our laws.”

Cleburne County Sheriff Chris Brown also lauded Griffin’s announcement, saying: “Attorney General Griffin, Senators Hill and Rice, and Rep. Beaty are doing right by Arkansans by taking a lead to bring clarity in our gun laws. People in my county and across the state need laws that are clear and easy to understand not only to enjoy their constitutional rights, but to better protect themselves, their families and property.”

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About Attorney General Tim Griffin

Tim Griffin was sworn in as the 57th Attorney General of Arkansas on January 10, 2023, having previously served as the state’s 20th Lieutenant Governor from 2015-2023. From 2011-2015, Griffin served as the 24th representative of Arkansas’s Second Congressional District, where he served on the House Committee on Ways and Means, House Armed Services Committee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Ethics and House Committee on the Judiciary while also serving as a Deputy Whip for the Majority.

Griffin has served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps for more than 26 years and currently holds the rank of colonel. In 2005, Griffin was mobilized to active duty as an Army prosecutor at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and served with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Mosul, Iraq.

He is currently serving as the Commander of the 2d Legal Operations Detachment in New Orleans, Louisiana. His previous assignments include serving as the Commander of the 134th Legal Operations Detachment at Fort Liberty (née Bragg), North Carolina, and as a Senior Legislative Advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness at the Pentagon. Griffin earned a master’s degree in strategic studies as a Distinguished Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.

Griffin also served as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Political Affairs for President George W. Bush; Special Assistant to Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff, Criminal Division, U.S. Department of Justice; Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Arkansas; Senior Investigative Counsel, Government Reform and Oversight Committee, U.S. House of Representatives; and Associate Independent Counsel, Office of Independent Counsel David M. Barrett, In re: HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros.

Griffin is a graduate of Magnolia High School, Hendrix College in Conway, and Tulane Law School in New Orleans. He attended graduate school at Oxford University. He is admitted to practice law in Arkansas (active) and Louisiana (inactive). Griffin attends Immanuel Baptist Church and lives in Little Rock with his wife, Elizabeth, a Camden native, and their three children.