Pat Down Prompts Enhanced Carry Confusion at AGFC Meeting


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. –  This one surrounds a state agency meeting at a public facility. 
The permit holder left with more questions than he came with, prompting him to get the building’s surveillance footage. 

An enhanced carry licensee flagged for being armed when he walked into the Batesville Community Center for an Arkansas Game and Fish meeting. 

“I truthfully answered no even though it would have been legal,” Robert Neal says.

Robert Neal says a Game and Fish officer then patted him down. 

“I do not consent to a search of my person or property.”

“I’m not searching you.” 

“There were literally multiple Game and Fish officers who I’d never met before that all knew me by name, which is a little bit intimidating, but it’s their playground so I’ll go along with it.” 

Neal says officers continued to monitor him throughout the meeting. 

“I was the only person they touched outside of a handshake,” he says. 

Neal believes he was treated that way because he has asked whether the agency is in compliance with the enhanced carry law.

“People with the enhanced endorsement can carry in public buildings. I just think there’s some agencies who are dragging their feet on it,” he says. 

But Game and Fish says prior to the meeting… “Carrying a handgun is prohibited in this building” signs were posted at the doors with the owner’s permission. 

The agency says such practice is consistent with all meetings held in Game and Fish buildings and is allowed by Arkansas law. 

“You’d think they’d be in line with this rather than trying to resist it,” Neal says. 

Game and Fish has also said that enhanced carry licensees cannot carry a gun in its office buildings or the location of its administrative hearings, which are usually at the headquarters. 

Neal argues this was a regular public hearing. 

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