Questions over training loom as enhanced concealed carry law takes effect

Questions loom as enhanced carry takes effect

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- For months, we brought you coverage of the Enhanced Concealed Carry License law. We covered its introduction, passage, and subsequent controversy over the bill allowing guns on college campuses. The bill was quickly amended after the criticism, exempting stadiums and hospitals from the law.

On Friday, that law will finally go into effect. But, a lot of people still have a lot of questions about what the training will entail.

Instructors have waiting lists a mile long of people waiting to sign up for enhanced carry classes. Even though the bill passed last March and the law goes into effect Friday, it could be up to four months or more before you're able to carry in bars and on campuses.

That’s because the Arkansas State Police have 120 days from the moment the law is active to design the training for the licenses.

"Even when we get the curriculum from the State Police, it may take some time to be able to digest that and be sure that we are equipped to offer that training to others,” said Nathan House, a Concealed Carry Instructor and Owner of Arkansas Armory in Sherwood.

By January, the training will be available, but then instructors might have to be trained before they can teach the enhanced carry laws.

"Is the facility going to be able to host the training additional construction that's required? There's just so many different pieces at this point,” House said. “[I’m] being facetious a little bit, but they could say you have to propel from a helicopter, and we don't know yet.”

Depending on what the training requires, House may have to do additional construction to his business to accommodate the new rules.

And bar owners have similar concerns.

The new law states that enhanced carry permit holders can carry into bars, as long as they have not declared themselves to be "gun free." We spoke with several Little Rock bar owners who say they don't have enough information to decide whether or not they will allow guns and would like to see the law sooner rather than later.

The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Charlie Collins, said concealed carry permit holders will have to take another 8 hour course. He said he doesn't know what ASP will include in that course. He expects it will include active shooter situations in sensitive places like college campuses and also what to do when law enforcement arrives.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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