LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Gun laws have been under major scrutiny in the wake of recent shootings that have happened in our country. Uvalde, Buffalo, Tulsa – the list goes on and on.
Lawmakers in Arkansas have mixed feelings depending on who it is that you ask. Legislators are either all in for the state's current gun laws... or they say that the current laws are not strict enough.
"That's something that we've got to look at is to make sure that guns are in the hands of the right people," Senator Kim Hammer (R-Benton) said.
"I'm an Arkansan, I grew up here, I know what the gun culture means," Senator Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) said. "It's never meant that we should concede to what's happening right now."
Both lawmakers say it may be time to take a look at Arkansas's laws. In order to obtain a gun, background checks are required, but not everywhere. Licensed dealers, like gun stores, always require one. If you buy a firearm from a private seller, then there are no state laws that require a background check.
"Anything beyond that that would improve safety without being an overreaction, I would certainly be open minded to," Senator Hammer said. "But I'm not going to do anything that's going to take away any constitutional right to any citizen of Arkansas."
There are also certain requirements when it comes to felons, which basically states that they can't own guns. Mental health has also been a big discussion in Arkansas's laws, in that if someone has been involuntarily admitted to a mental health institution, they also cannot own a gun.
"So I think we need to be careful about that," Senator Elliott said. "So background checks, I think it makes sense."
While both senators don't necessarily agree on how strict Arkansas's gun laws are, there is one thing that they have both agreed on.
"At the end of the day, I think what we all want is for our citizens to feel safe and to feel secure," Senator Hammer said.
"Everybody deserves better, and it's on us to make sure that we carry out our responsibility to make it better," Senator Elliott said.
Both of them are willing to reach across the aisle to ensure that Arkansans stay safe.