Arkansas Approves Plans To Exempt College Facilities From Gun Laws

Arkansas State University Logo
– Arkansas State University Logo

Arkansas state police have effectively banned concealed handguns from college sports facilities after exempting college campuses from a law expanding where firearms can be carried.

The state police approved plans by eight state colleges that would exempt their sports facilities from a law that allows people with concealed handgun licenses to carry on college campuses if they get special training. The law took effect Sept. 1, 2017.
Nearly 1,000 people gave received the special training, according to The Associated Press. 
The approval arrives after a month of protests in response to the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla., Shooting, which killed 17 students and faculty.
The ban is only effective for collegiate-related events. Concealed handguns are still allowed at the facilities during non-collegiate events, including concerts. University of Arkansas Athletic Department Spokesman Kevin Trainor told the Associated Press that the facilities are otherwise classified as “continuously gun-free.” 
Democratic Rep. Greg Leding, who opposed the expanded gun law, said the plans restore some control to campuses but he’d prefer allowing schools to decide for themselves whether to allow gun onto their campuses.
“I don’t know why they couldn’t just submit plans to effectively say, ‘look, our campus is safe, we don’t need act 562,'” Leding told the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Trent Garner plans on expanding the law. 
“I plan on being very aggressive with expanding the enhanced carry (law) this next session,” he said.