Thursday, March 23, 2017

Governor Signs Bill to Allow Concealed Weapons on College Campuses, Churches, and Public Buildings

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson announced he signed House Bill 1249 into law on Wednesday, March 22, which will allow people to carry concealed weapons on colleges and universities.

HB 1249 passed the Arkansas legislature on Wednesday, March 15. Rep. Charlie Collins sponsored the bill.

The original bill required state institutions to allow faculty to conceal carry on campus. But after opposition from the House and Senate, bill sponsor Rep. Charlie Collins from Fayetteville made a few changes.

A major amendment to the bill is that anyone who carries concealed weapons on campus is required to take a training course up to eight hours long. The amendment also gives students the option to carry on campus.

Additionally, the bill expands where people can carry concealed weapons. Now public buildings, like the State Capitol, and bars, churches, and restaurants that serve alcohol are subject to concealed carry, unless they post a sign at the entrance barring concealed carry.  The law will also allow concealed carry on public college campuses, including Razorback Stadium and War Memorial Stadium.

Private institutions are the only entities allowed to opt out of the requirement.

It will take several months for the training program to be designed and this law will not go into effect until January 2018.

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