Guns in Arkansas

Governor asa hutchinson talk business & politics
Talk Business & Politics

Gov. Asa Hutchinson urged school board members to “ask the right questions on security” Friday, saying that parents must be confident their children are safe in order for schools to excel.

“Let me tell you: In this world today, a concentration on security and safety in the schools is paramount,” he said at the Arkansas School Boards Association’s Annual Conference. “If parents cannot have confidence in the school district and its security plan, then they’re not going to have comfort in terms of the quality of education. It starts with safety at the schools.”

Brad Bartelt and his girlfriend Connie Hampton, who has been arrested on a weapons charge.

The man accused of prompting a lockdown at Arkansas State University by bringing a shotgun on campus has now been formally charged. Meanwhile authorities Friday released new details of the incident.

A Craighead County judge set bond at $50,000 cash for Brad Kenneth Bartelt. The Jonesboro man was charged with aggravated assault, terrorist threats, criminal possession of explosive material and carrying a firearm in a publicly owned facility.

The man accused of causing a lockdown at Arkansas State University has his first court appearance set for Friday afternoon.

Jonesboro police spokesman Paul Holmes says the suspect, 47-year-old Brad Kenneth Bartelt, will appear via video link from the Craighead County jail for a probable cause hearing at 1 p.m. Friday.

Bartelt is being held on a preliminary charge of aggravated assault for the Thursday incident, but Holmes says he could face more charges.

ASU standoff
KATV, Channel 7 News

After a panicked situation that had authorities fearing they were dealing with an active shooter, a suspect is in custody facing charges and a mental evaluation.  47-year-old Brad Kenneth Bartelt drove his pickup onto a lawn at Arkansas State University at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday while displaying a shotgun, police said. 

The Faulkner County Quorum Court has unanimously approved an ordinance allowing elected officials and county employees with concealed carry permits to bring weapons on some county properties.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that the ordinance states that the licensee is still prohibited from carrying a weapon in a detention facility, the Faulkner County Justice Building, a sheriff's department office or any courtroom without permission from the presiding judge.

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.