FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Handguns would be allowed in places like courthouses and college classrooms if several bills at the Arkansas legislature become law this year.
In September 2011, police said a man named James Palmer went inside the Crawford County courthouse looking for Judge Gary Cottrell, and began shooting.
He shot one woman in the leg and injured others before being killed by police.
Now, there's a bill in the Arkansas legislature that would allow elected officials in courthouses who have concealed carry permits to have handguns at work.
Soon, it may be legal for guns to be in several other places, too -- like parking lots.
"We hope to be able to deter some of those crazy killers from coming and doing harm to our loved ones,” Republican State Representative Charlie Collins said Friday (March 13) during an interview.
Collins has authored a bill that would allow university professors to carry guns, but he said the movement goes beyond college campuses.
"Some of these other places I think it's more a balancing act of perhaps we've restricted, too severely, the rights of our concealed carry holders to carry their weapons after they've been approved by the state police," Collins said. "In general, I think the concealed carry laws enable somebody to either deter, if it's in a place they're at, or literally to protect themselves if in fact somebody does try to take advantage of them -- either with a weapon themselves, or in some other form or fashion."
Some we spoke with said they would support the expansion of where a concealed carry permit holder can take his or her gun.
“I personally believe that any citizen, any American citizen, who holds a license, and they've taken courses to ...hold a gun should be allowed to hold a gun,” Kayla Bull said.
Opponents of these bills say there is already enough law enforcement security in these places, and more guns could provoke dangerous situations.
Two of those bills passed the House this week and will have to go to the Senate before they end up on Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk to be signed into law.