The Arkansas Legislature's 90th General Assembly has seen a number of firearm-related bills introduced that should be of interest to law-abiding gun owners, and your NRA is working closely with bill sponsors and other legislators to ensure we will advance our Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the Natural State.
House Bill 1190, introduced by state Representative Kim Hammer (R-28), has already passed and been signed into law. This law removes the restriction on obtaining a concealed carry permit from those Arkansas residents between the ages of 18 and 21 who are active members of the United States Armed Forces, members of the National Guard or a reserve component of the US Armed Forces, and former members of the US Armed Forces who have been honorably discharged.
NRA remains in support of House Bill 1077, introduced by state Representative Charlie Collins (R-84), which would allow staff members of public colleges and universities with valid Right to Carry permits to carry a firearm for personal protection while on school property. While this bill failed to pass out of the House Committee on Education on February 5, it remains technically viable.
In addition to these bills, the following legislation has also been introduced:
House Bill 1203, introduced by state Representative Kim Hammer, and House Bill 1240, introduced by state Representative Dwight Tosh (R-52), both seek to make improvements to the existing Castle Doctrine law in Arkansas. These bills have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
House Bill 1372, introduced by state Representative David Meeks (R-70), would remove the absolute prohibition on carrying a concealed firearm on school property for private K-12 schools and allow those schools to establish policies regarding the scope of who may carry a concealed firearm on school property. This bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education.
Senate Bill 159, introduced by state Senator Linda Collins-Smith (R-19), would remove the prohibition on carrying a concealed firearm into a county courthouse for employees who have a concealed handgun license. This bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 573, introduced by state Senator Alan Clark (R-13), seeks to prevent employers from prohibiting an employee with a valid concealed handgun license from storing their lawful firearms in the employee's locked vehicle while parked in the employer's parking lot. This bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Bill 612, introduced by state Senator Jon Woods (R-7), seeks to remove the restriction on law-abiding, permanent U.S. residents who are not citizens from obtaining an Arkansas concealed handgun license. This legislation has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Please contact the members of the committees where these bills have been introduced and urge them to work with NRA to ensure the rights of Arkansas' law-abiding gun owners are protected and strengthened.
NRA is working with several other legislators on introducing additional pro-gun reforms, and we will alert you to additional developments as they arise.