Earlier this year, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) signed House Bill 1249 into law, allowing concealed-carry permit holders to apply for and receive an “enhanced” concealed carry permit.
The enhanced permit requires an additional eight hours of firearms training and allows the holder to legally carry a concealed firearm at airports, polling places, public colleges, sporting events, some state offices, and the state capitol—places where residents with a regular concealed-carry permit are prohibited from doing so.
There’s one small problem, however. While the enhanced program is slated to start on Sept. 1, 2017, the law also directed the Arkansas State patrol to devise the required eight-hour training program—but they were given a deadline of January, 2018 to do so.
According to an article recently posted on ArkansasMatters.com, the Arkansas State patrol recently sent out a memo to all concealed carry trainers in the state, “outlining the rules of the state’s new gun laws passed this legislative session.”
But trainer Nathan House, the owner of Arkansas Armory in Sherwood, Arkansas, apparently spoke for many trainers when he told ArkansasMatter.com:
“It’s still confusing to a lot of people. We don’t have any clue what the [training] standards are going to be yet for the enhanced carry.”
The article then states, “House said many of his customers have been trying to sign up for the new training program, only to be told it doesn’t exist yet. He’s added about 100 of them to a waiting list for it, while he evaluates if his indoor shooting range will be able to accommodate the potential requirements, like moving and shooting, moving down range and holster draw.”
Currently, nearly 200,000 Arkansas citizens hold a concealed carry permit. Among the various requirements, applicants must take an approved concealed-carry course, which lasts approximately five hours. A live-fire proficiency test is also mandated.
Although the previously mentioned memo from the State Patrol promised more information would be posted to its website this year, trainers like House have no real idea what they must teach in the enhanced course and if the various requirements must be taught in specific ways.
Also, no one apparently knows what the enhanced permit will cost or how much trainers will be charging for the added education. So, despite the new law being slated to apply starting Sept. 1, It doesn’t look like enhanced carry is actually coming to Arkansas any time soon. —By Brian McCombie, Contributor, U.S. & Texas LawShield® Blog