Sen. Jim Hendren
GUN BILL CHANGES: Sen. Jim Hendren has some in the works.
confirms he has been working on an amendment to the campus carry bill
intended to end the logjam. The net result would be more concealed weapons in more places.
He confirms this general outline as explained to me by another source:
With enhanced training of eight hours (not 16), concealed carry permit holders could carry on campus and also in other public locations, including the state Capitol, that have been off limits previously.
The bill also will expand concealed carry on private premises, though all private property owners could ban weapons with posted notices. The changes include preserving the ability to conceal a weapon in church and, apparently, to also carry a concealed weapon in a bar, with the additional training.
Hope to get some more detail, but it's somewhat "complicated" Hendren said in text messages. Whether this is an agreed solution or not is decidedly unclear. UPDATE: Indeed. The amendment was rejected in a Judiciary Committee vote this afternoon.
To recap: This began as Rep. Charlie Collins'
bill, universally opposed by colleges, to allow staff members to carry concealed weapons. The House passed it, but the Senate added an amendment to allow anyone 25 or older to carry on campus with 16 hours of live-shooter training. The NRA said that was unacceptable. Sen. Linda Collins-Smith
said then that she'd simply propose to allow concealed carry on campus by anyone with a permit and also carry at a number of other places, including the Capitol and courthouses.Today, to further complicate matters, Collins filed a new effort to simply pass a staff campus carry bill. His co-sponsors include Sen. Trent Garner and Collins-Smith, NRA supporters who've worked to expand the bill previously.
There will be some irony if the colleges' pitched resistance against guns on campus provides legal protection for guns not only on campus but many other places previously restricted.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson
has said repeatedly that he prefers the status quo on guns, which includes guns on campus only with governing board approval. Hendren has been the governor's legislative leader in the Senate. He had earlier expressed a willingness to support the campus carry bill with the 16 hours of training, an amendment pushed by his nephew Sen. Tim Hutchinson.