Friday, November 03, 2017

EDITORIAL >> Revisions advance for conceal carry

State Senate Information Officer

The Arkansas State Police is working on changes to concealed carry regulations to enforce the intent of Acts 562 and 859, which the legislature approved earlier this year.

Act 562 expands the number of locations where a permit holder can legally carry a concealed firearm, such as public facilities. In order to legally carry in those additional locations, the owner of the firearm must complete additional training to obtain an enhanced license.

Permit holders who maintain the traditional non-enhanced will continue to be prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm in public buildings, schools, colleges, universities, churches, bars and at parades that require a permit.

A person who obtains an enhanced permit can legally carry on public colleges and universities. However, even with an enhanced permit it will be prohibited to carry concealed firearms at collegiate sporting events such as football games.

It will be prohibited to carry at the State Hospital or the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Also, students with enhanced concealed carry may not store a firearm in their dormitory room.

Several areas will remain prohibited, even for holders of enhanced carry permits. Those locations include prisons, courtrooms and public schools from kindergarten through grade 12.

There are allowances for school security guards to carry firearms, and private schools can allow permit holders to carry on school grounds.

Churches and bars can allow or prohibit the carrying of firearms on their premises. They can post a written notice, or verbally notify the permit holder that firearms are not permitted.

At a public hearing conducted by the State Police there were questions from instructors, who train applicants in the use of firearms and teach them on the rules that specify where the carry of concealed firearms remains prohibited.

The State Police will accept written comments until 4 p.m. Friday. The proposed regulations that will implement Acts 562 and 859 can be found on the State Police web site at the address of its Administrative and Regulatory Division:

About 225,000 people in Arkansas have a concealed carry permit and there are about 1,000 instructors.