On Wednesday, the Arkansas House voted 71-18 to approve a measure establishing an enhanced carry permit, thus greatly expanding where permit holders may carry a concealed firearm. The bill will now advance to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson who, according KTHV-TV, has already confirmed he will sign the measure into law.
The legislation, officially known as H.B. 1249, will eliminate some of the prohibitions enumerated when Arkansas’ original campus carry law was passed in 2013, including language limiting the privilege to faculty and staff, and granting institutions the option to opt out. Another provision present in other versions of enhanced carry permit legislation but stricken from the final language of H.B. 1249 was the requirement that permit-holders be at least 25 years old. Anyone who is currently eligible for a carry permit will be eligible for the enhanced permit, provided they complete the requisite eight hours of training.
In addition to college campuses, the enhanced permit will also allow carry at the State Capitol, in restaurants that serve alcohol, and other places that have previously been off-limits when it comes to carrying a concealed firearm for self-defense.