Two important right to carry bills saw passage in the Arkansas House of Representatives this week and head to the state Senate for committee referral and consideration.
House Bill 1372, introduced by state Representative David Meeks (R-70), passed in the House of Representatives Friday by an 80-2 vote. HB 1372 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.
House Bill 1505, introduced by state Representative Michelle Gray (R-62), was voted out of the House Judiciary Committee this past Tuesday, March 10, then passed by the full House of Representatives Thursday by a 68-9 vote. This legislation would remove the absolute prohibition on having a firearm in the vehicle while in certain public parking lots for individuals with a concealed handgun license.
The publicly owned and maintained parking lots must be accessible to the public, and includes those lots associated with public schools (K-12, colleges, community colleges, and universities), public buildings, the State Capitol and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. License holders would no longer be prohibited from carrying a concealed firearm on their person while in their vehicle while on the affected lots, and would not be prohibited from keeping the firearm locked in their unattended vehicle while parked in these public lots.
These bills will soon be received by the Arkansas Senate, then assigned to a committee. In the meantime, please contact your state Senator and urge her or him to support HB 1372 and HB 1505.