Guns in Arkansas

Bald Knob Police Chief Erek Balentine Truck
KATV, Channel 7 News

Arkansas State Police are now investigating the burning of former Bald Knob Police Chief Erek Balentine's pickup truck.

State Police spokesman Bill Sadler told The Daily Citizen that the agency agreed to the investigation requested by Prosecuting Attorney Becky Reed McCoy.

Balentine found his truck on fire the night of Sept. 14 with the words "2 Amendment" spray-painted on the truck. The fire came after the arrest and conviction of a Bald Knob man for disorderly conduct and carrying a weapon.

Balentine resigned Oct. 5 saying he wanted to protect his family.

Arkansas Man Kills Himself Playing Russian Roulette

Oct 26, 2015

According to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, 20-year-old James Baker of Conway killed himself after playing a deadly firearm game.

Police say Baker was reportedly smoking marijuana with three friends at Prairie Wings, a 1,625-acre private hunting property in Jefferson County, when he told one of them he wanted to play Russian roulette. The two other friends were asleep at the time.

The sheriff's office reports that Baker's friend advised him that he didn't want to play the game, but Baker reportedly insisted and proceeded to load one round into a handgun.

Police in Forrest City say a 10-year-old boy was apparently accidentally shot during a pee wee football game.

Police told reporters the boy was shot in the foot Saturday and that the injury is not life-threatening.

Police say the person suspected of firing the shot was not attending the game and the shooting is believed to be accidental. Police say the football field is adjacent to a wooded area where people sometimes hunt.

Arkansas school districts could utilize teachers, administrators and other staff as armed guards under legislation headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

The Arkansas House voted 87-1 Wednesday to advance the bill that would let the Arkansas State Police manage the licensing of armed staff. It would abolish a board which currently handles those duties.

The move was in response to the board deciding in 2013 to allow 13 districts to continue for two years licenses classifying them as private security firms, but not accept any new applications.

Concealed firearms would be allowed into certain polling places under a bill endorsed by the Arkansas House.

Lawmakers voted 73-17 Monday to advance the proposal to the Senate. It would allow people with concealed carry licenses to bring their guns on election day into places where firearms are otherwise allowed, such as certain churches or stores. Guns would still be barred from polling places at courthouses or schools.

State Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

A bill passed in the Arkansas House of Representatives Monday would require public universities to allow faculty and staff with concealed carry permits to bring firearms on campus. It now heads to the Senate.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Charlie Collins of Fayetteville, said during debate that the proposal would serve as a deterrent to those considering committing a mass shooting.

State Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville).
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Public colleges and universities in Arkansas would be required to allow staff and faculty with concealed carry licenses to carry their guns onto campus under a bill approved by a House committee.

The House Education Committee voted Thursday for the reworked measure that was narrowly defeated earlier this month.

Active Shooter Simulator

The 10th annual Arkansas Safe Schools Conference is underway in North Little Rock presenting law enforcement and education officials with information to improve safety.

The conference had a few hands-on tools including a firearms training system allowing participants to virtually go through a school shooting as a police officer. Charles Ellis with Camden’s Law Enforcement Training Academy walked officers through the training.

He says some educators are also taking interest.

A group called “Arkansan Pastors for Gun Sense” is partnering with law enforcement agencies around the state to reach out to families of victims of gun violence by delivering toys and Christmas hams  Saturday. In addition to supporting victims, the group has been pushing for legislation to strengthen background checks and other gun trafficking laws.

Gun advocates, who want to roll back certain restrictions on firearms, plan on holding a demonstration in Fort Smith on Saturday.

Arkansas Carry is a nonprofit organization that supports gun owners, promotes the Second Amendment, and backs efforts to remove bans on the open carry of handguns in the state.