Campus carry may become a reality in Arkansas. The state House and Senate both approved House Bill 1249, which creates an enhanced concealed carry permit. Those who possess the enhanced CCW permit would be allowed to carry on college campuses and universities throughout the state.
Under HB 1249, a person must be 25 years of age and undergo 8 hours of training in order to qualify for the enhanced CCW permit.
The bill was introduced by state Representative Charlie Collins and backed by the NRA.
“The [NRA] applauds the passage of HB1249, a personal protection bill to strengthen Arkansas’ current carry system,” the NRA said in a statement released after the bill’s passage. “With Governor’s Hutchinson’s signature, law-abiding citizens with enhanced permits will be allowed to defend themselves if attacked by vicious criminals while on campus, out to dinner, or visiting state buildings.”
The bill is currently sitting on Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk. According to J.R. Davis, communications director for the governor, Hutchinson will sign the bill. A bill signing ceremony is still in the works.
Based on statistics from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, should Hutchinson sign the bill into law, 5,000 students at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock campus alone would qualify for the enhanced concealed carry permit. That’s 43 percent of their student body.
Of course, anti-gunners are against the bill.
“If more guns everywhere made us safer, the United States would be the safest country in the world and that is not the case,” Austin Bailey, the director of the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action, told Arkansas Matters.