Today, the Arkansas House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 71, the Church Protection Act, by an overwhelming bipartisan 85-8 vote. It now returns to the state Senate for a procedural vote, then will be sent to Governor Mike Beebe (D) for his expected signature. Governor Beebe has publicly stated he has no objection to the legislation.
SB 71, introduced by state Senator Bryan King (R-5), would remove the absolute prohibition on concealed carry permit holders from being able to defend themselves in any church or other place of worship. It includes an Emergency Clause, so it will go into effect immediately upon the anticipated approval by Governor Beebe.
Our thanks to all who supported this important reform to the Right-to-Carry reform measure in Arkansas, especially Senator King, who began promoting this effort in 2011 while serving as a state Representative.