With Governor Mike Beebe (D) on travel outside Arkansas, Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr (R) signed into law Senate Bill 131 as the acting Governor on February 22. This legislation, introduced by state Senator Bruce Holland (R-9), closes the loophole that allows media outlets to obtain and publish the names and zip codes of concealed handgun carry license (CHCL) holders. This important law took effect immediately.
A spokesman for the Governor had initially indicated Governor Beebe opposed SB 131 while the bill progressed through the legislature. After the overwhelming, bi-partisan support the bill received, however, the Governor indicated he would likely let it become law without his signature, even though his opposition may not have changed.
Rather than delay the inevitable, Lt. Gov. Darr took up the reins of enacting this law when the opportunity arose. For that, the pro-gun community is grateful.
Darr stated, “Having been an outspoken advocate for Second Amendment rights, I felt passionately that there should be no delays in signing this bill into law. Within the bill is an emergency clause which states that once this bill is signed the State of Arkansas can no longer publicly release records concerning persons licensed to carry a concealed handgun or those applying for such a license. The release of such records is an invasion of privacy and threatens the safety and property of the persons identified."
“I appreciate Senator Bruce Holland, the co-sponsors and the 80% of the 89th General Assembly who supported this bill, in their effort to protect the privacy of the citizens of Arkansas,” he added.
The NRA echoes Lt. Governor Darr's appreciation for Senator Holland and those who supported this important pro-gun reform. Arkansas is now the 32nd state that has enacted this type of legislation.