Expanded campus gun bill approved by House committee | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Expanded campus gun bill approved by House committee

Posted By on Tue, Mar 14, 2017 at 11:31 AM

click to enlarge MAKING HIS PITCH: Rep. Charlie Collins explains amended campus (and more) gun bill. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • MAKING HIS PITCH: Rep. Charlie Collins explains amended campus (and more) gun bill.

The dramatically expanded bill that began as an effort to allow university staff members to carry concealed weapons on campus was approved this morning in a House committee. It concurred in a Senate amendment on a voice vote and the bill goes to the House.

The bill came back to the House with a Senate amendment that opens campuses to ALL with concealed carry permits who also obtain an endorsement from the State Police for additional training of up to eight hours in such topics as an active shooter situation. This means anyone age 18 or older can, with the proper classes, qualify to take a gun on campus.

But the bill also dramatically expands the places where guns can be carried, including the State Capitol, county courthouses and most other public buildings, with rare exceptions. It also opens bars and churches to concealed carry, unless those places post notices prohibiting it.

The NRA endorsed this amended version of the bill after Collin's originally bill had gotten mired in committee.

Some questioning whether the cost of the new State Police training program would be covered by the new permit fees. Collins said the governor had no concern about that. Private providers will provide the training, but the State Police will administer it. A fee will be required for those providing the courses.

Collins pitched his bill as a solution to a problem — regular shootings on school campuses. He said this concerned him more than some of the questions about costs. "This is about savings lives. This about getting crazy people to say, 'I'm not going to shoot people on an Arkansas campus today.' "

Testimony included an objections from proponents of unlimited open carry of weapons. This bill is just more regulation, they said.

Anthony Roulette, lobbyist for the NRA, said his organization was "very happy" with the bill, particularly its expansion. "It's our primary legislative objective in Arkansas this year."

Rep. Doug House asked about the requirement for a sign on a church door for those who don't want guns inside. Roulette said he saw the provision as a return of property rights to the church. But House noted that the current law prohibits a gun unless the church chose otherwise. "Where do we get off telling churches to do anything?"

click to enlarge 'THIS IS NOT ABOUT SAFETY': Austin Bailey. - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • 'THIS IS NOT ABOUT SAFETY': Austin Bailey.

Austin Bailey
, who works with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, opposed the bill in original and amended form. She noted the new bill adds guns in sporting events and parks and places where alcohol is consumed and in university daycares. She said the new training was "minimal."

"I wonder why we are considering legislation putting students at risk," she asked. She said research shows more guns in public places doesn't have a deterrent effect on public shootings. "This is not about safety."

She said the bill is placed on a presumption that untrained people are able to take the place of trained law enforcement in shooting situations and will place a burden on law officers to decide who's the bad actor in a crisis situation.

"Our campuses are vulnerable and we have a chance to take a significant step in the right direction," Collins said in closing.


Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-9 of 9

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • Dinner and dancing in Dogtown

    A good night out in Argenta. Looking for the theater? Consider "Sweet Charity."
    • Jul 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated its 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Most Viewed

  • Football is king, Bentonville edition

    Good analysis in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette of an unannounced Bentonville School Board vote last week to put $2 million into a football stadium for West High School despite board assurances in last May's tax election that no money would go to a football stadium.
  • But what about the Clintons? Last refuge of Trump, New York Times

    Trying to compare Donald Trump's reaction to the Russia investigation with Bill Clinton's dealings with Kenneth Starr should be a non-starter if the facts mattered. But these days — and to the New York Times — it ain't necessarily so.
  • Dinner and dancing in Dogtown

    A good night out in Argenta. Looking for the theater? Consider "Sweet Charity."

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation