Concealed Carry Faculty and Staff FAQ

North Arkansas College is committed to providing a safe campus environment for all who work, study and visit. We continue to work mindfully on policies and procedures for implementation and compliance with state laws.

What is Enhanced Concealed Carry?
According to the Arkansas State Police, an enhanced license authorizes the licensee to “carry” or “possess” a concealed handgun in the buildings and on the grounds of certain locations. Possession is limited to carrying of the handgun on or about the licensee’s person, in a vehicle occupied by licensee, or otherwise readily available for use. At all times, the licensee must retain the firearm in his or her immediate vicinity (within arm’s reach). A licensee is not authorized to leave the handgun unattended in a separate location for safekeeping or future use, except when the handgun is placed in a locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot as permitted by law.

Can I include language in my class syllabus about enhanced carry rules?
Yes. The following statement can be used by faculty wanting to include information about enhanced concealed carry on campus.

Reminder About Concealed Carry On Campus

Handguns are only allowed on campus (including all classrooms) to the extent specifically authorized by state law.  Each individual who lawfully possesses a handgun and an enhanced carry permit is required to keep the handgun concealed from public view at all times and is responsible for carrying the handgun in a safe manner.

If an individual carries a concealed handgun in a personal carrier such as a backpack, purse, or handbag, the carrier must remain within the individual’s immediate vicinity (within arm’s reach).  During this course, you may be required to engage in activities that may require you to separate from your belongings such as taking a quiz or examination, and thus you should plan accordingly.  Any student who violates the concealed carry laws while on campus may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or discipline by the College, up to and including dismissal. If you observe someone displaying a handgun or other weapon on campus, it should be reported to the Northark Campus Police Department.

Can anyone carry a handgun on an Arkansas public university campus when the new laws take effect?
No. Campus carry is limited to individuals who have been issued a concealed handgun license in Arkansas and who complete enhanced certification training of up to 8 hours developed by the Arkansas State Police as required by Act 562.

Is an individual required to be at least 21 in order to obtain a concealed handgun license?
Generally, yes. However, under Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-309(3), a concealed handgun license is also available to applicants who are at least 18 and (i) currently a federally recognized commissioned or noncommissioned officer or an enlisted member on active duty in the United States Armed Forces; (ii) in the National Guard or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces; or (iii) a former member of the United States Armed Forces who has been honorably discharged.

What does “concealed” mean?
“Concealed” means to cover from observation so as to prevent public view, per Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-301(2). A handgun must be covered from observation so as to prevent public view. In other words, concealed carry licensees shall not carry a handgun openly or in any other manner in which the handgun is visible to ordinary observation by a reasonable person or in public view.

Can I prohibit guns from my classroom or office?
No. Faculty and staff are not allowed to restrict concealed weapons in their classrooms or offices. The law allows people who meet the requirements to carry concealed handguns on campus and in buildings. Faculty and staff cannot prohibit concealed carriers with the proper license and enhanced certification from their classrooms and carriers cannot be penalized for doing so.

Can I prohibit guns from my office?
No. Faculty may state their personal preference that guns not be brought to class or offices, but they should acknowledge that concealed carriers with the proper license and enhanced certification do not have to comply with that preference and may not be penalized on that basis. However, the new laws prohibit an individual from carrying a handgun into grievance and disciplinary meetings conducted in accordance with college procedures and lasting no more than 9 hours provided (a) the meeting is held in a room that is “no larger than necessary to complete the meeting;” (b) participants are given at least 24 hours’ notice of the meeting; and (c) a notice is posted on the door in which the meeting is being held that possession of a handgun is prohibited.

Can I ask a student, faculty member or staff member if they are carrying a gun?
Yes, but they are under no requirement to answer. Individuals with the proper concealed carry permits do not have to identify themselves as carrying a weapon if asked unless asked by a law enforcement officer in accordance with Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-315. No action may be taken against an employee or student because of their status as a concealed carry permit holder.

What do I do if I see someone with a gun in my class or on campus?
Students, staff members, faculty members and visitors may not display a handgun on North Arkansas College campuses. Handguns must be concealed at all times, barring life-threatening emergencies. If you observe someone displaying a handgun on campus, it should be reported to the North Arkansas College Police Department. If you observe someone displaying a handgun on campus in a threatening manner, call 911.

Can I cancel class if a student has a concealed weapon with the proper permits?
No.

Will Northark faculty and staff be allowed to carry a concealed handgun?
Yes, provided the faculty or staff member has obtained the required concealed handgun license, and has successfully completed the requisite enhanced certification training. Act 562 specifies that unless an employee is required to carry a firearm as part of the employee’s specific job duties (i.e., Police Officer), any possession or use of a firearm by the employee is not considered to be within the scope of employment with the College. As such, any employee who chooses to possess or use a firearm is acting in the employee’s individual capacity and not as an agent of the College, and is not immune from personal liability with respect to possession or use of the handgun. If the employee is injured by his or her own negligence in possessing or using a handgun in the workplace, he or she will not be entitled to worker’s compensation. Additionally, employees who decide to carry a concealed handgun must plan appropriately for its legal storage. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-306 (13)(B)(v) specifies that storage of a concealed handgun is allowed in a locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot.

What is the penalty for bringing a concealed handgun to campus without being properly licensed or for carrying a concealed handgun into a prohibited area?
Those who violate the campus carry law are subject to legal action in accordance with Acts 562 and 859. Additionally, violations of the campus carry law may, for employees, result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and for students, result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the College.

May I store a handgun in my office?
No. Even employees with a special endorsement for concealed carry on campus may not store their handgun in any College facilities, including classrooms, locker rooms, or offices. The only allowable storage for handguns on campus is in locked and unattended motor vehicles on College or public property.

Will concealed handguns be allowed at college-sponsored athletic events, such as basketball games?
No. Act 859 prohibits individuals (regardless of certification) from carrying a concealed handgun into a collegiate athletic event, provided the event is a posted firearm-sensitive area under a security plan approved by the Arkansas State Police. The College will be working with the State Police and will submit security plans to obtain approval to have these venues designated as firearm-sensitive areas.

I have a concealed carry permit issued in another state. Can I carry my concealed weapon on campus?
No. A person must have a valid concealed carry permit and complete the additional enhanced certification training to receive an enhanced permit, in order to be allowed to carry on campus.

Can a supervisor request a list of employees who have a concealed carry permit?
No.

Can a student, faculty member or staff member carry a concealed weapon to a school-sponsored event or class field trip off campus?
Yes, if they hold a concealed carry permit and if the event is at a location where the state of Arkansas allows concealed weapons.

Can faculty, staff or students carry concealed weapons off campus?
Arkansas has offered a concealed weapon permit since 1996 that allows people to carry concealed weapons in the state.

For more information please see the or the Arkansas State Police Concealed Handgun Carry License Rules.