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Campus Carry Bill Headed To Governor’s Office For Signature

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) -- House Bill 1249 is headed to Governor Asa Hutchinson's office for a signature.

The House voted on Wednesday (March 15) to agree with the Senate's amendments on the campus carry bill.

The original bill required state institutions to allow faculty to conceal carry on campus. But after opposition from the House and Senate, bill sponsor Rep. Charlie Collins from Fayetteville made a few changes.

A major amendment to the bill is that anyone that carries on campus is required to take an eight hour training course. The new amendment also gives students the option to carry on campus.

Private institutions are the only entities allowed to opt out of the requirement if it becomes law.

Collins said he was very excited to see the bill he worked on for a while finally make it to the governor's desk and said it was something other states could look at.

“I think that what we’ll model here in Arkansas is something that dozens of other states potentially are going to observe and potentially adopt, adapt and copy for their own situation," said Collins.

He is aware that there are some who oppose his bill.

Collins said if there was one thing he could tell those people, it would be that a realization needs to be made that there is violence problem going on in the country.

“Law enforcement and colleges and administrators are all doing the right things and they’re all trying to help improve safety but we’re leaving an important tool out of the toolbox and that is what concealed carry offers for us," Collins said.

Collins is unsure when Governor Hutchinson will sign the bill, but it could be as early as Friday.

5 News did reach out to the University of Arkansas for their thoughts on the bill's progress but they declined to comment.

Gary Crain, the spokeman for the University of Arkansas Police Department did say one thing.

"Our role is to enforce the law and uphold the law if the bill passes," said Craine.