Arkansas Law Allows Concealed Handguns Onto State College Campuses

A measure signed into law by Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday allows concealed handguns to be carried onto state college campuses — even sporting events —- among other previously banned locations.

The law mandates up to eight hours of active-shooter training for a person with a concealed handgun license who is 21 or older to be able to carry a handgun on state college campuses or into bars and government buildings — all places that had previously been restricted. More than 220,000 people have concealed carry permits in the state.

“Most concealed-carry permit holders are responsible people,” Democratic Rep. Greg Leding, whose district includes the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, told USA TODAY Sports. “That said, accidents happen. People like to have a good time before, during and after football games in the South. People drink. People get emotional. If you’re not allowed to bring an umbrella into a stadium, why should you be allowed to introduce guns into the equation?”

On Thursday, reports surfaced that the Arkansas Senate would consider a new proposal that would exempt sporting events from the law.

University of Arkansas spokesperson Steve Voorhies told USA TODAY Sports in an email that university “will work collaboratively with the UA System as it establishes policies, guidelines and practices that align with the law as it affects our campus.” The school also is developing an information portal on its website where polices and guidelines will be addressed.

While the law will take effect on Sept. 15, the Arkansas State Police has until January to develop the training guidelines.

The bill had the backing of the National Rifle Association.

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SOURCE: USA Today, A.J. Perez