Arkansans want common-sense laws when it comes to having guns on college campuses. The people of Arkansas certainly don’t want the state Legislature telling local colleges what they can or can’t allow on their own campuses. Arkansas Democrats want to make sure that colleges and law enforcement officials get to set their own gun safety policies, not politicians.
In 2017 the Arkansas Legislature ignored public sentiment and passed a law taking away local control from college campuses regarding guns on campus. Arkansans and law enforcement professionals oppose it, and are demanding better. On Wednesday, state Representative Denise Garner (D-Fayetteville) joined with state lawmakers and members of Moms Demand Action to unveil a new slate of bills to help fix gun safety laws in Arkansas.
“My constituents asked me to listen to public safety experts in addressing the guns on campus issue, and to avoid partisan extremism,”said state Rep. Denise Garner. “You’ll see that’s exactly what my legislation does. That’s where it comes from too, from real people and real law enforcement officers. These fixes to our current laws have broad bi-partisan support in the public. I’m confident that will be the case in this Capitol building as well moving forward.”
Rep. Garner introduced three major pieces of legislation.
HB1938 would reinstitute local control on college campuses. Before local control was revoked, all Arkansas public universities chose to opt-out of campus carry. College administrators and law enforcement experts know their public safety needs best. If campus PD, parents, alumni, and administrators don’t think guns should be in classrooms and dorms, then guns shouldn’t be in classrooms and dorms. This legislation also forbids the carrying or storage of firearms in student housing.
Garner’s other bills in her slate include…
HB1940 would mandate holstering. If someone is concealed carrying right now, they don’t have to holster their firearm. This leads to dangerous accidental discharges,
HB1939 mandates universal background checks. It closes current loopholes. Arkansas gun owners are responsible and mature—this background check proposal would simply ensure that violent criminals do not have access to firearms.
Garner was joined at the press conference by Stephannie Lane Baker. She traveled to the state Capitol from Bentonville to represent her local group chapter of Moms Demand Action.
“Gun violence in this country is a crisis that takes 100 American lives every day and leaves hundreds more injured. We know that the policies that could help prevent gun violence don’t have to be controversial,” said Stephannie Lane Baker. “Moms Demand Action is a bipartisan, grassroots movement of moms and dads, sisters and brothers, grandparents, physicians, clergy – citizens of this great state. And just like everyone else, we want to keep our families safe from gun violence.”
Rep. Garner successfully defeated an incumbent, who led the charge to force college campuses to open-up to firearms.