Can we control the guns?

Story by Tierra McCraney, Student Reporter Graphic courtesy of Wes Bausmith and MCT Campus

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 Arkansas Act 562, a law that will allow students, faculty, and staff to carry concealed weapons on campus, passed last fall. Emails have been sent to Henderson students addressing this issue, which also give more information about this new law. 

Although the Arkansas Act 562 has passed, training for the license is still under development by the state police. Weapons are not allowed on campus until training has been established by the Arkansas State Police. 

Under Act 562, faculty, staff, and students are allowed to carry concealed weapons after they have completed eight hours of training and have the proper license. In order to be issued a license, a person must be twenty-one years or older or eighteen and in the military. 

“I do not think guns should be allowed on campus, but it depends on how sane the person is,” said Teresa Valdivia, freshman, computer science major. “And I think training should be longer than eight hours.” 

Certain locations such as athletic events and the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences building prohibit guns as well as universities that have a daycare. However, handguns are acceptable in other areas, such as dormitories, the cafeteria, and sorority and fraternity houses. 

“I am against students carrying guns on campus because it is not conducive to the learning environment,” said Amber Clark, senior, English major. 

Licensed carry conceal holders can only bring handguns. The Ark. Code 5-73-309 states, “Any firearm, other than a fully automatic firearm, with a barrel length of less than twelve inches that is designed, made or adapted to be fired with one hand.” 

“Every time someone picks up a gun there is a risk. That’s why the training is important,” said Cydney Curtis, senior, elementary education major. “But with the proper license, I think it is a fair idea. I would rather someone who went through training to have a gun than those who carry guns illegally.” 

Handguns must be concealed from public view at all times, and weapons must always be on the person that has the license. Conceal carry holders are only allowed to use their handgun in self-defense, and under the law, those who have a concealed gun are required to show their weapon to law enforcement officers if asked to do so.