Yesterday, Governor Mike Beebe (D) signed into law Senate Bill 858, introduced by state Senator Jason Rapert (R-35). This new law goes into effect in mid-July and establishes that Arkansas must recognize any valid Right-to-Carry permit issued by another state and replaces the current conditional reciprocity standard. We thank Governor Beebe for signing this important pro-gun reform.
Senate Bill 896, introduced by state Senator Bryan King (R-5), unanimously passed in the House Judiciary Committee yesterday and is now eligible for consideration on the House floor. This legislation is a companion of Senate Bill 71, also sponsored by Senator King and enacted in February. SB 71 removed the absolute prohibition on concealed handgun carry license (CHCL) holders from carrying a concealed firearm for personal protection into any church or other place of worship. Churches and other places of worship can now decide if CHCL holders will be allowed to carry concealed firearms on their property. SB 896 would address places of worship that also have a private school (grades K-12) on the same property. Because Arkansas law prohibits CHCL holders from carrying their personal protection firearms onto any school property, this legislation is necessary to create an exemption for those properties that have the dual function of acting as both a house of worship as well as a private school.
Senate Bill 896 could be heard any day now, so it is imperative your contact your state Representative and urge him or her to support SB 896.