Pictured left to right, Senator Bruce Holland, Governor Mark A. Darr and Representative Andy Davis. (Photo: Lt. Governor's Office)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe is criticizing Lt. Gov. Mark Darr for making secret the list of Arkansas residents allowed to carry concealed weapons, saying the Republican "embarrassed himself" by signing the legislation while the governor was out of state.
The Democratic governor on Tuesday called Darr's decision to sign the measure "totally inappropriate." The bill exempts the concealed carry list from the Freedom of Information Act.
Beebe had opposed the measure, but had planned to let it go into law without his signature.
Darr said last week he believed the measure deserved a signature and should be enacted without delay. He signed the measure Friday while Beebe was in Washington for the National Governors Association's winter meeting.
Beebe said he'll be "much more careful" about leaving the state after Darr's decision.
Lieutenant Governor Mark A. Darr issued the following statement in response to Governor Beebe's comments on the signing of Act 145.
"I respect the office of the Governor, the Constitution of the State of Arkansas, but mostly I respect the citizens of Arkansas and the 130,000 citizens that are now protected under this law.
"I want to thank the number of constituents who have called and emailed in support of this law. People like Donna Schaefer of Carlisle, who took the time to come to the Capitol today and express how grateful she was. Donna and her 82 year old mother were two names that were released yesterday by a reporter here in Little Rock. Her story is an example of why I felt the urgent need to sign this bill into law.
"It is important to remember that Act 145 received a tremendous amount of support from the Arkansas Legislature with a vote of 84 to 9 in the House and 24 to 9 in the Senate."
(Source: The Associated Press/Lt. Gov. Mark Darr's Office)