Arkansas House passes bill adding exemptions to new gun law

It seems the soap opera in Arkansas is finally winding down, as lawmakers in the House passed a bill Thursday that would essentially exempt certain areas from being required to allow guns.

Senate Bill 724–an amendment to House Bill 1249, which Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law as Act 562 last week — would allow college sports stadiums, teaching hospitals, and daycares to submit a security plan to Arkansas State Police. If approved, those facilities could then apply for annual waivers to designate areas where guns are prohibited.

According to Arkansas Matters, Republican Rep. Charlie Collins called the bill a change to a “sensible” law.

“Senate Bill 724 allows college stadiums for games to submit a security plan to the Arkansas State Police and lay out here’s what we’re going to do to protect folks at the game,” said Rep. Charlie Collins.

The original bill signed into law last week greatly expanded the areas in Arkansas where guns could be carried. While the NRA and gun-rights supporters cheered the new law, many others became worried that guns would be allowed into heated athletic events, such as University of Arkansas football games.

Under pressure from the SEC and others, lawmakers then proposed the amendment, SB 724, which now heads to the Senate for a vote.