Arkansas legislators plan bills to expand rights of gun owners in state

Arkansas legislators plan bills to expand rights of gun owners in state

Gun Rights

Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, center, is shown in this file photo. Despite national head winds that helped elect gun-control advocates to Congress this year, some Republican state legislators in Arkansas plan to file bills to expand the rights of gun owners next year. Meanwhile, some Democrats in the state think there is momentum for passage of a so-called red-flag law that would allow for the temporary seizure of weapons from people deemed dangerous to themselves or others. Among the first bills to be filed ahead of the 2019 regular legislative session, which starts Jan. 14, was legislation to proclaim the shotgun as the state gun. Other bills in the works, according to several Republican lawmakers, would expedite the process for domestic-abuse victims to get concealed-carry licenses, strengthen carry laws at the city and county level, and reduce concealed-carry license fees. With both parties holding the same number of legislative seats as they did in the 2017 session, however, neither side said the political ground had shifted. The 100-member House will have 76 Republicans and 24 Democrats. The 35-member Senate will have 26 Republicans and 9 Democrats. Two years ago, the legislative fight over guns focused on a bill to expand concealed-carry rights onto college campuses and into bars and other public buildings. The passage of that legislation, Act 562 of 2017, prompted an outcry from Democrats and gun-control advocates, who accused lawmakers of ignoring the concerns raised by colleges and law enforcement officials. Shortly after the bill was passed, […]

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