Few gun bills gained approval from Arkansas lawmakers in session

Few gun bills gained approval from Arkansas lawmakers in session

Gun Rights

FILE — Rep. Bob Ballinger is shown in this file photo. Legislative proposals on both sides of the gun-rights debate in Arkansas this year had varied results, with three becoming law, some struggling in committee and one resulting in a viral video viewed more than 2.5 million times around the world. Republicans, despite their majority grip on the Arkansas Legislature, failed to bring to a vote a proposal to eliminate gun-free zones. The zones were created after a contentious battle in 2017 that resulted in a law allowing people with enhanced-carry permits to take concealed handguns onto college campuses and into public buildings, bars and churches. In another effort, a "stand your ground" bill that would have eliminated the "duty to retreat" from the state’s self-defense laws failed by a single vote in a Senate committee. The impassioned opposition to the proposal by state Sen. Stephanie Flowers, D-Pine Bluff, later gained viral fame. Democrats also experienced their share of legislative defeats in their efforts to enact new gun-control policies by tapping into discontent over the 2017 enhanced-carry law. A series of Democrat-backed bills would have implemented universal background checks, barred convicted domestic abusers from possessing guns and created a new type of judicial order to seize weapons from a person considered dangerous. Only one proposal — the domestic abuser ban — made it out of committee. It did not become law. State Sen. Bob Ballinger, R-Hindsville, a staunch supporter of access to firearms who proposed the "stand your ground" […]

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