Compromise Reached on Campus Carry, Some Still Oppose

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The debate over guns on college campus’s took another turn Monday as a compromise was reached between state Republican leaders.

The new proposal allows anyone age 25 and older to bring their guns on campus so long as they have a conceal carry permit and attend up to 16 hours of active shooter training.

Campus carry has been a contentious issue at the capitol with students and administrators showing up to committee meetings to oppose the proposal. The original bill forced schools to allow only employees and staff to carry weapons and did not have a requirement for additional training.
   
A bipartisan group of senators voted last week to add the training requirement, and the pool of those eligible to carry was expanded with an amended Monday to include some students.

“I think it’s a good balance of both issues,” said St. Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado. “Look, I wanted to open it up to as many people as possible, but I think some people have some issues with the maturity of, say, younger people. I think 25 is a good age.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson, who voiced concern about the original proposal, praised the compromise bill saying it “adds another layer of protection for students and faculty.”

But not everyone is on board, St. Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, whose district includes the University of Arkansas, says the compromise “makes an awful bill worse.”
   
House Minority Leader Michael John Gray, D-Augusta, said the provision allowing some students to carry on campus “causes great concern.”

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