Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 131, introduced by state Senator Bruce Holland (R-9), on a bipartisan vote of 24-9. This legislation would close the loophole that allows media outlets to obtain and publish the names and zip codes of concealed carry handgun license (CHCL) holders. In 2009, Arkansas amended its concealed handgun license law to remove the ability of media outlets to publish names AND addresses of license holders.
SB 131 seeks to enact more thorough restrictions. Under this legislation, personal information on license holders would be accessible only as part of an official criminal investigation. SB 131 was heard yesterday in the Senate Committee on State Agencies and Governmental Affairs, where a voice vote recommended the bill “Do Pass.”
This important protection of the privacy of law-abiding gun owners now goes to the House. Please contact your state Representative and urge her or him to support SB 131. For help identifying your state Representative and their contact information, please click here.
Unfortunately, a spokesman for Governor Mike Beebe (D) stated that the Governor opposes this measure. Please also contact Governor Beebe and urge him to reconsider his position. Politely remind him that thirty states have already enacted protections for gun owners by classifying personal permit information contained in firearm permits as confidential. Also, be sure to let him know that the public release of any personal information regarding CHCL holders serves no public interest and only exposes law-abiding citizens to potential criminal acts.