Rep. Charlie Collins‘ dream of allowing guns on campus is moving closer to reality.
The Legislative Council yesterday voted 24-12 to approve new rules developed by the Arkansas State Police for a so-called “enhanced carry permit.” The new permit, decreed by a controversial law pushed by Collins earlier this year, would create a special licensing program allowing permit holders to bring weapons onto public college campuses, as well as certain government buildings and bars. The permits will require additional training.
There is still a hot mess of logistical issues to sort out, and there was noisy opposition to the rushed process from both gun control advocates and Second Amendment hardliners in the legislature yesterday. Among the concerns were that the rules would allow guns in dorm rooms and that concealed-carry license instructors would face overly burdensome requirements. (The D-G reports that House Speaker Jeremy Gillam called the opposition to the rules “buyer’s remorse on the vote taken in the session” — quite a statement!)
Rep. Bob Ballinger is already promising a new round of legislation during the fiscal session to fix problems in the existing law. Ballinger is planning to be busy in the fiscal session, as he is also plotting to needlessly introduce bureaucratic headaches for same-sex couples. Guns and gays: Fiscal session, Arkansas style.