Since 2013, Arkansas Colleges and Universities Have Had the Option to Allow Certain Full-Time Staff Members to Carry Guns on Campus but No School Has Chosen to Do So
Ad Asks Governor Hutchinson to Stand by His Own Statement That Only Professionals with Rigorous Training Should Carry Guns on College Campuses
Nationwide Polling Shows 95 Percent of College Presidents and 94 Percent of College Faculty Oppose Guns on Campus
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Arkansas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released a new print ad that urges Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto House Bill 1249. If signed into law, HB 1249 would force Arkansas’ public colleges and universities to allow anyone with a concealed carry permit, who undergoes minimal additional training, to carry hidden, loaded handguns on campus, including in classrooms and offices. Nationwide polling shows 95 percent of college presidents and 94 percent of college faculty oppose guns on campus.
Previously, Governor Hutchinson maintained that colleges be allowed to have “armed personnel on campus – only after rigorous training by credentialed professionals.” This bill would allow students, staff and visitors to carry concealed guns on campus without rigorous training. In addition to forcing colleges to allow guns on campus, the bill was expanded to allow concealed guns in places where they are currently prohibited, including bars, sporting events (including Razorback Stadium) and airports.
STATEMENT FROM AUSTIN BAILEY, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE ARKANSAS CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Common sense tells us that there shouldn’t be guns in Razorback Stadium, and experts agree. This bill not only flies in the face of university experts, but also expands the places where hidden, loaded handguns are allowed to include bars and sporting events. College campuses, bars and sporting events are all places where alcohol flows freely and emotions run high. Introducing guns into the mix is a deadly prospect for Arkansas.
“Moms Demand Action volunteers across Arkansas are urging Governor Hutchinson to stay true to his word and make public safety a priority by vetoing House Bill 1249. The governor has previously stated that he supports allowing colleges to decide for themselves whether to allow guns on campus, and that he would only support allowing armed personnel who have been ‘rigorously trained’ by credentialed professionals. Additionally, Arkansas’ colleges and universities have made their opposition clear by choosing not to allow full-time staff members to carry guns on their campuses despite having the option to do so since 2013. Governor Hutchinson should listen to the concerns of university presidents, law enforcement, our schools and Arkansans and veto this dangerous bill.”