Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson [official website] on Wednesday signed into law a bill allowing individuals over the age of 21 to get enhanced concealed carry permits [HB 1249 materials]. Individuals who have concealed carry permits may apply for the enhanced permit and, after eight hours of additional training, may carry the concealed weapons at public colleges, airports, polling places, sporting events, some state offices and the state capitol. Under HB.1249/Act 562 concealed weapons are still forbidden in courtrooms, K-12 public schools, public pre-K programs, prisons and dorm rooms, even with the enhanced permit. The law allows for churches, places of worship and other establishments to post notices forbidding the entry of concealed weapons onto the premises. The law will go into effect on September 1.
The ability to carry concealed weapons, especially in churches and on college campuses, has become an increasingly prevanlent issue. Last month, the New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill that would repeal the law prohibiting state citizens from carrying concealed firearms without a permit. Earlier in February the US House of Representatives voted to repeal [text, PDF] an Obama-era gun regulation that required mental health information to be shared with the national gun background check system. In December Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 199 [JURIST report], making it legal to carry concealed weapons at daycare facilities and onto college campuses. Last September the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit restored [JURIST report] gun ownership rights of individuals convicted of minor crimes. Earlier that month the New Jersey Second Amendment Society filed [JURIST report] a lawsuit against the state’s Attorney General in New Jersey’s district court alleging the state’s stun gun ban is unconstitutional. In June the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that a state law conviction on reckless domestic assault is sufficient to bar possession of a firearm under federal law. Earlier in June Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a bill [JURIST report] requiring gun owners to be listed on an FBI database, notifying police if a Hawaii citizen is arrested in another state and providing a continuous criminal record check on those individuals seeking to possess a firearm.