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Arkansas lawmaker: Deal reached on concealed gun training

February 15, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas legislator said Thursday he won’t push for his measure easing a requirement for concealed handgun instructors during this year’s session after the governor said he supported delaying the mandate’s deadline so the issue can be addressed by lawmakers later.

Republican Sen. Trent Garner said he’ll drop his proposal for removing the requirement that concealed carry instructors offer both the regular and the enhanced training under an expanded concealed handgun law approved last year. The law allowed concealed handgun licensees to carry at college campuses, government buildings and other locations if they undergo up to eight additional hours in training.

Garner said delaying the requirement until after next year’s session would allow lawmakers to address the issue either in a special session or when they convene in 2019.

“I think one way or the other it’s getting fixed,” Garner said.

The agreement was first reported Thursday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. The training requirement faced criticism from some concealed carry instructors who have said they can’t afford to teach both courses.

“We’ll make sure no concealed carry trainer will be penalized because they have not received the training for the enhanced carry,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson told The Associated Press. “We will be able to fix that and we’ll able to resolve it in a substantive way by legislation next January.”

Garner’s proposal would have needed a two-thirds vote to even be considered in this year’s “fiscal” session since it’s not a budget issue. Two Democratic lawmakers have also proposed legislation banning guns in college dorm rooms. A provision in the rules for the concealed carry law allows gun in dorm rooms if they’re kept within arm’s reach of the person with the enhanced concealed handgun license.

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