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AR: Campus Carry Compromise Considered

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 11:10
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The campus carry bill being debated in the Arkansas legislature has undergone a considerable evolution.  It started as a bill to require campus administrators to allow staff with a concealed carry permit to carry on campus.  The staff would have been required to notify the administration. Graduate students were excluded from eligibility. The bill is HB 1249

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

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The debate over guns on college campus’s took another turn Monday as a compromise was reached between state Republican leaders.

The new proposal allows anyone age 25 and older to bring their guns on campus so long as they have a conceal carry permit and attend up to 16 hours of active shooter training.

 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.

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 plus campuses where the right to bear arms has been partly restored. From concealed

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 are 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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