Legislation allowing students with concealed carry permits to carry on college campuses passed the Arkansas House and Senate and is headed to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s (R) desk.
The legislation–HB 1249–creates an enhanced concealed carry permit. Holders of such a permit would be allowed to carry a gun for self-defense on public college and university campuses and in some other places in the state that currently prohibit concealed carry. HB 1249 requires enhanced permit holders to be at least 25-years old and requires eight hours of training versus the four hours associated with a regular concealed carry permit.
On March 8 Breitbart News reported that the NRA was working with State Senator Trent Garner (R-27) and Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren (R-2) to secure passage of HB 1249, thereby securing law-abiding students’ ability to carry a firearm for self-defense when on campus.
THV11 reports HB 1249 has now made its way through the legislature and is on its way to Governor Hutchinson, who has already “expressed support” for this type of legislation.
University of Arkansas Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz expressed concern over concealed carry permit holders being able to carry a gun on campus for self-defense. Steinmetz said, “We have serious concerns about increasing the number of armed individuals posing a significant threat.” He did not substantiate his concern by listing a threat or crime carried out by Arkansas concealed carry permit holder.
Campus carry is currently the law of the land in Colorado, Utah, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, and Idaho. It is interesting to note that Idaho framed campus carry around the issuance of an enhanced carry permit, just as Arkansas is doing. Campus carry will take effect in Kansas on July 1, 2017.
Campus carry is also legal in Ohio, but the Ohio law was written in a way that allows colleges and universities to opt out of it.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.