The availability of the new enhanced concealed carry permit, with its broader power to be carried into public buildings previously off-limits, is drawing nigh.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson boasted today on Twitter, every striving to outflank primary opponent Jan Morgan.


Best estimate of a State Police spokesman Liz Chapman is that the state is perhaps 2 to three months away from issuing the first enhanced permit under the state law that grew out of Rep. Charlie Collins’ desire to get guns on college campuses. It’s now allowed by those with an enhanced permit. Some sites can be ruled off-limits, such as Razorback stadium. But the bill opened bars and many public buildings previously closed to those with the basic concealed carry permit. Private businesses that wish to be exempt from the law must post notices to that effect.

Letters went out Friday to 70 instructors (of 1,000 in the state) that they’d been certified to teach the new course to qualify for an enhanced concealed carry permit. to take that course, a person must first have the basic concealed carry permit and thus already passed the background check. Then, a course with a minimum of six hours in the classroom and two hours on a firing range are required.


But once an instructor has a permit in hand, he or she may begin the permit classes. At least one instructor in Lonoke County has said he’d start the courses immediately.

There’s been some resistance to the new law, particularly the requirement that all licensed instructors must take the test to be certified to issue certificates for those seeking the permits. They will not be required to offer that training, but still must take the test, the spokesman said. There’s been some talk of changes to the law, both on the testing end and its application. For example, it’s been noted that you may not store a weapon in a college dorm, but the law apparently allows someone with a permit to enter a dorm with a weapon.


The testing process for instructors continues through July 1.

Additional wrinkle: The hard-core gun activists insist no permit is required to carry a concealed weapon and seem to spoil for a court test. Hutchinson, to his credit, has defended the permitting process as being well within the bounds of the 2nd Amendment.