Guns in Arkansas

UAMS campus carry guns
Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Ahead of a new law taking effect in September that expands places where people can carry firearms, schools that want to prohibit concealed handguns are working with state police to get exemptions.

Institutions seeking to ban concealed weapons from certain areas and events must send a security plan to be approved by Arkansas State Police.

The plan calls for schools to have enhanced security measures in place should they choose to opt out of the bill. One institution seeking to restrict concealed carry is the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

The Arkansas House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday allowing state universities to prohibit concealed carry license holders from bringing handguns into “collegiate athletic events.” SB724 would also allow the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas State Hospital to prohibit firearms. The bill passed the House on a 71-20 vote.  A previous version already passed the Senate.

The Arkansas Senate has voted to exempt college sporting events from a new law greatly expanding where concealed handguns are allowed, moving quickly to address concerns that the sweeping gun rights measure would lead to armed spectators at stadiums and arenas.

Charlie Collins
www.arkansashouse.org

An Arkansas House committee has advanced revised legislation to greatly expand the carrying of concealed firearms in the state, but not before getting flak Tuesday from opponents of the bill, as well as gun rights supporters.

The original legislation approved by the House last month was limited to college campuses, but the Senate modified the bill to also allow guns at some government buildings, including the state Capitol, and private establishments like bars and restaurants.

Trent Garner
Arkansas Times

An Arkansas lawmaker sponsoring legislation to allow concealed handguns at colleges is holding off on a compromise proposal that would have included age and training limits to carry on campus.

Republican Sen. Trent Garner said Monday he's deferring a proposal that would have allowed anyone with a concealed handgun 25 and older to carry if they undergo up to 16 hours of active shooter training. Garner said he'll support an alternative bill filed last week that would allow anyone with a license to carry on campus.

The Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to require college and university employees who want to carry concealed handguns on campus to first undergo additional training, prompting a Republican lawmaker to expand the campus-carry proposal to allow some students and visitors to participate.

The Senate voted 22-10 to add a provision mandating 16 hours of active shooter training to a House-backed measure requiring the schools to allow faculty and staff with a license to carry a concealed firearm on campus. The Senate is expected to vote next week on the proposal. 

Rep. Charlie Collins
Jacob Kuaffman / KUAR News

An Arkansas House panel has advanced a proposal requiring colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus, despite complaints from school administrators and police.

The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday endorsed by a 12-5 vote the proposal to require public colleges and universities to allow faculty and staff to carry the concealed weapons. A 2013 law leaves the decision up to the schools, but so far none have opted to allow guns. The proposal now heads to the House for a vote.

www.psychologicalscience.org

The chancellor of the University of Arkansas flagship campus in Fayetteville is opposing a bill that would require public universities to allow staff members to carry concealed handguns.

Now, colleges and universities in Arkansas can choose whether to allow staff members with concealed-carry permits to carry the weapons on campus, but all of the state's public universities have opted not to.

A bill filed Monday by Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville would eliminate the ability for public universities to opt out in most cases. Collins has said the measure is aimed at preventing mass shootings.

Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz said in a statement Tuesday that UA agrees with the current law that allows schools to opt out. He says university police do not believe that Collins' measure would make campus safer.

Arkansas Guns
Talk Business & Politics

Arkansas is the nation’s fifth most dependent state on the gun industry, and the most dependent in the South, according to WalletHub, a personal finance website.

The company’s analysts studied the gun industry in each state and the District of Columbia to determine which states depend the most on it for jobs, have the highest gun ownership, and make the most gun-related political contributions.

An executive order that supporters say will stem gun violence in the country was characterized Tuesday by members of the state’s congressional delegation as a power grab.

In a speech at the White House on Tuesday, President Barack Obama (D) said the issue was about protecting people in a violent world.

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