Arkansas House votes to allow concealed carry on campus for teachers and faculty, but not students

Campus Reform Reporter
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The Arkansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly cleared legislation last Friday that would allow licensed administrators and faculty to carry concealed weapons on college campuses, while preventing licensed students from doing the same.

The Arkansas House passed legislation last Friday allowing college administrators to carry concealed firearms, but not students.

HB 1243 passed the House 70-11, now moves to the Republican-controlled Senate where it will likely gain approval. Democratic Governor Mike Beebe has also indicated he would sign the legislation.

While the bill gives the governing board of private and public institutions of higher learning discretion to permit faculty and staff to conceal carry, it specifically excludes students.

According to the bill, those “enrolled as a full-time student at the university, college, or community college,” are excluded.

Larry Pratt, president of pro-gun group Gun Owners of America, told Campus Reform that while the bill is a step in the right direction, it is inadequate in that it excludes students.

“It’s a great improvement, but it’s still inadequate because if you can trust somebody anywhere else in that college town to have a concealed carry firearm but somehow they’re somehow going to go goofy when they cross the street on to the campus?” he said.

Arkansas State Rep. Charlie Collins (R-Fayetteville), who sponsored the bill, however, argued that weapons in the hands of faculty and staff would still prevent mass shootings on college campuses.

“Killers choose our university campuses frequently to murder our loved ones,” he said. “The bad guys know that the good guys aren’t going to have a weapon and so one of the things that we can do to protect our loved ones is to allow concealed carry on campus.”

Arkansas also recently passed legislation to allow concealed carry in churches.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @scottmgreer

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