The Arkansas Senate Judiciary Committee failed to amend House Bill 1249 with NRA-supported language. This amendment was put together by State Senator Trent Garner (R-27), one of the bill's original cosponsors, and Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren (R-2). While disappointing, there is a procedural effort to bring this bill to the Senate floor to be properly amended to make significant advancements to Arkansas gun laws. HB 1249 will be on the Senate calendar for tomorrow, and your Senator needs to hear from you now! Please contact your state Senator and strongly urge them to support a vote to remove HB 1249 from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and support ONLY the NRA-backed amendment offered by Sen. Jim Hendren on the floor.
Originally introduced solely as a Campus Carry bill, the proposed amendment would establish an enhanced carry permit that will greatly expand where permit holders may lawfully carry firearms for personal protection. NRA considers this amendment to be its primary legislative goal for Arkansas this year, as it would enact a strong enhanced carry permit system.
First and foremost, the enhanced permit will allow for carrying on public college and university campuses, without the unnecessary prohibited areas that had caused concern with the original version of HB 1249. The enhanced permit will also allow for the lawful carrying of a concealed firearm in many places that are currently prohibited under the existing permit system, including the State Capitol, and in areas of restaurants where alcohol is served, to name a few. If amended, HB 1249 would not contain the unacceptable age restriction of being only applicable to those who are at least 25 years old. If you can qualify for the current permit, you can qualify for the enhanced permit. While additional training of up to eight hours is a component of the enhanced permit, current licensees may waive up to four hours of that training, due to the training they have already received.
Again, please contact your state Senator and strongly urge them to support a vote to remove HB 1249 from the Senate Judiciary Committee, and support ONLY the NRA-backed amendment offered by Sen. Jim Hendren on the floor.