The campus carry bill being debated in the Arkansas legislature has undergone a considerable evolution. It started as HB 1249, a bill requiring campus administrators to allow staff with a concealed carry permit to carry on campus. The staff would’ve been required to notify the administration. Graduate students were excluded from eligibility.
An attempt was made to require 16 hours of additional training. That amendment was passed, then defeated. Negotiations resulted in a compromise where additional training is required, but the pool of eligible people is increased to anyone age 25 or older who have an Arkansas concealed carry permit.
From the amendment, here are the requirements for the training:

(2)(A) A training program administered under this subsection may consist of up to sixteen (16) hours and may include:

(i) Active shooter training;
(ii) Defensive tactics;
(iii) Weapon retention; and
(iv) Handgun safety and maintenance.

(B) The costs of the training program under this subsection shall not exceed a nominal amount.

(C) The Department of Arkansas State Police shall maintain a list of licensees who have successfully completed a training program under this subsection.

HR 1249 has already passed the House. This compromise  will have to pass the Senate Judiciary committee, then the full Senate, and then go back to the House.

If it clears those hurdles, it will be sent to Governor Hutchinson. Governor Hutchinson came out in favor of the earlier version of the bill that passed the House (from arkansasmatters.com):

LITTLE ROCK, AR — A bill making it legal for people who work at state universities to bring guns onto campus passes the state house, and now Governor Asa Hutchinson is coming out as a supporter.

Hutchinson said he supports the provisions allowing universities to require active shooter training before staff members can bring their weapons on campus.

The higher education lobby is pulling out the stops to prevent this bill from passing. No significant problems have been found in the 150+ campuses where the right to bear arms has been partly restored. From concealed campus.org:

Among the more than 150 college campuses that currently allow concealed carry, there have been three accidental/negligent discharges—two by faculty/staff and one by a student. Two of the negligent discharges were the result of the license holder carrying the gun in a pants pocket without a holster (both of these incidents resulted in non-life-threatening injuries to the license holder’s leg), and one was the result of the license holder showing a new gun—a gun with which she was not yet familiar—to her coworkers (this incident resulted in only minor abrasions that did not require medical attention).

All three of these incidents could have been avoided through proper training and/or the implementation of appropriate policies (e.g., allowing colleges to require that licensed students, faculty, and staff keep handguns holstered or cased at all times) that do not restrict the ability of license holders to carry concealed handguns for personal protection.

Institutes of higher learning have become power centers of “progressives.” It appears that the debate is not about safety, but about power. Passing campus carry shows college administrators that they’re controlled by the legislature, not the other way around.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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6 Responses to Campus Carry Compromise Considered in Arkansas

  1. Oh good, so instead of having zero chance of surviving a mass murderer on campus, it only depends on which janitor is working that day. Awesome.

  2. Here is a “compromise” I could live with for the time being – make the state true permit-less carry, then let permittees carry in all the “gun free” zones.

    • That would be the case in Texas if two of the current bills introduced passed.

      In related news, if frogs had wings …

  3. Article appears to be bragging about “requiring” school admins to “allow” something about concealed carry when that carry is already licensed by the state. Why did the subject come up? Do we also have discussions about additional training and requirements for carrying in a butcher shop? How about a gas station?

    If I worked at a university (or attended one, for that) and had a license to carry, I would carry. The only way anyone would find out is if you had to defend your life, and in that instance I’d rather stay alive, we’ll deal with silly rules afterwards. Being guiltless and dead is not my ambition. I would undergo an additional 16 hours of harassment only if the dean of students (or above) was right there every second, monitoring this “important” training.

    • Concealed means concealed for sure. Like you, the only people who will ever know I carry will be my wife and anybody who threatens my life. But there is legal weight behind a ban of campus guns that many aren’t willing to tread on. Much like I won’t carry at a post office. Removing or reducing that legal threat for campus carry is a very good thing.

      I would even go so far as to argue that the gun community, much like the rest of society has an obligation to follow the laws of the land, even the stupid ones until we can change them through our representatives. Statements like “Why make a law allowing campus carry? I just carry and break the law anyway” are never gonna get hoplophobes to see us as rational people.

  4. ” Two of the negligent discharges were the result of the license holder carrying the gun in a pants pocket without a holster (both of these incidents resulted in non-life-threatening injuries to the license holder’s leg), and one was the result of the license holder showing a new gun—a gun with which she was not yet familiar—to her coworkers (this incident resulted in only minor abrasions that did not require medical attention).”

    WTF People, We need to train kids in high school about the appropriate ways to handle and use firearms. Well regulated militia means well trained and well equipped. Hell, I’m all for FREE but MANDATED small arms training for ALL people over the age of 17. We already have selective service.

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