AG Opinions: From conceal carry to ID photos in personnel files

By Mark Whitmore, AAC Chief Legal Counsel

AG OPINION NO. 2018-045

The AG was asked whether the privileges of the enhanced version of the Arkansas conceal carry law extends to retired law enforcement officers. The AG explained that the answer is yes, if the retired officer qualifies under Ark. Code §12-15-202(b)(1) which provides: A concealed handgun may be carried by any retired law enforcement officer or retired auxiliary law enforcement officer acting as a retired auxiliary law enforcement officer who:

(a) Retired in good standing from service with a public law enforcement department, office, or agency for reasons other than mental disability;

(b) Immediately before retirement was a certified law enforcement officer authorized by a public law enforcement department, office, or agency to carry a firearm in the course and scope of his or her duties;

(c) Is carrying appropriate written photographic identification issued by a public law enforcement department, office, or agency identifying him or her as a retired and former certified law enforcement officer;

(d) Is not otherwise prohibited under federal law from receiving or possessing a firearm;

(e) Has fingerprint impressions on file with the system together with written authorization for state and national level criminal history record screening;

(f) During the most recent twelve-month period has met, at the expense of the retired law enforcement officer, the standards of this state for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms;

(g) Before his or her retirement, worked or was employed as a law enforcement officer or acted as an auxiliary law enforcement officer for an aggregate of 10 years or more; and

(h) Is not under the influence of or consuming alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance.

The AG explained that a retired law enforcement officer who qualifies under Ark. Code §12-15-202(b) may carry a concealed handgun in the same locations and subject to the same limitations as the conceal-carry licensee.

AG OPINION NO. 2018-125 & NOS. {2018-126; 2018-127; 2018-128; 2018-129; and 2018-130}

The AG was asked whether the identification photograph within the personnel file of various local government employees was subject to release under the FOIA. The main opinion, 2018-125, and progeny opinions conclude the city was proper in releasing the photographs of their employees. The AG determined that photographs depicting public employees are generally to be released under the FOIA. The custodian’s decision to release the photographs was proper. The AG noted that the requestor’s motive for making the request is generally irrelevant to whether the record must be released. Under current Arkansas law, the test for the release of personnel records is without consideration over the subjective motives or identity of the requester. The AG noted some records may be withheld if there is an unwarranted invasion of privacy that outweighs the public interests. The AG noted that some records may be subject to release but that redaction of the following is indicated: personal contact information of employees, including personal telephone numbers, personal email addresses and home addresses; employee personnel number; marital status of employee and information about dependents; date of birth of employee; social security number; medical information; any information identifying undercover law enforcement officers; driver’s license and driver license number; insurance coverage; tax withholding information; payroll deductions; and banking information.

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