Today, Senate Bill 724 was reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with a “do pass as amended” recommendation. SB 724 seeks to amend several sections of the newly enacted House Bill 1249, which was signed into law by Governor Asa Hutchinson today. This bill would add public teaching hospitals to the list of places where licensees with the enhanced carry permit would still be prohibited from carrying. Additionally, it would prohibit carrying on any premise owned or operated by a private university or private college unless the college chooses to allow a licensee to carry a concealed handgun on the premises. SB 724 would undermine some of the key advances made with HB 1249. This bill could be on the Senate floor as early as tomorrow! Please contact your state Senator IMMEDIATELY and urge them to OPPOSE SB 724!
Further, yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee reported out House Bill 1629 with a “do pass as amended” recommendation. HB 1629 could go to the floor soon. It is imperative that you contact your state Representative IMMEDIATLEY and urge them to OPPOSE HB 1629!
HB 1629, as amended, would expand the types of relationships that qualify under “domestic violence” charges. This would broaden the prohibited possessors category beyond what is currently covered under federal law and would include certain misdemeanor crimes. HB 1629 would treat misdemeanants, regardless of whether the offense involved violence or the use of a weapon (as required under federal law), the same as felons for purposes of removing gun rights. Under this bill, the misdemeanant could permanently lose his or her gun rights. Further, HB 1629 lacks any reference to procedural elements that federal law requires, such as the right to counsel or knowingly waiving that right.
Domestic violence is abhorrent, and those convicted of violent offenses should be severely punished, and on that point we can all agree. Because of the seriousness of this issue, there are already a plethora of federal laws on the books which keep guns out of the hands of convicted abusers; however, HB 1629 goes far beyond federal law.
Again, please click the “Take Action” button above to contact your state Senator and state Representative in opposition to SB 724 and HB 1629, respectively!