Guns begin nosing their way into the UA tent | Arkansas Blog

Guns begin nosing their way into the UA tent


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The University of Arkansas Board of Trustees has again voted against allowing concealed weapons on campus. But the vote was 7-2, where it was unanimous last year.

John Goodson, a Beebe appointee who's been more recently aligned with Republican candidates, particularly the gun-loving Sen. Tom Cotton, and Kelly Eichler, a member of the staff of Gov. Asa Hutchinson, an occasional spokesman for the NRA, voted to allow weapons. Eichler was quoted by the Democrat-Gazette as saying it was a constitutional issue.

The governor gets to appoint a trustee to the 10-member board every year (the chair, currently Reynie Rutledge, typically doesn't vote except to break ties). So, in a few more years, Rep. Charlie Collins may get his wish of guns on the Fayetteville campus. (However, Hutchinson appointee Sheffield Nelson, an avid hunter, voted with the majority on this issue.) A vote for guns will be against the expressed opposition of new Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz, however.

A 2013 law allows concealed weapons on campus unless a governing board votes to opt out. To date, no public college has voted to allow them. CORRECTION: I wrote originally that the vote was to permit; the vote is to opt out.

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