Concealed Carry On Campus

The new Arkansas concealed carry laws (Acts 562 and 859) go into effect September 1, 2017, however concealed carry on the campuses of Northark are not allowed as of that date.

The Arkansas State Police has 120 days after that effective date of September 1, 2017 to develop rules and procedures for the additional enhanced certification training required for concealed carry on campus. We estimate that concealed carry weapons will be allowed on Arkansas college and university campuses sometime in 2018.Concealed weapons on campus is allowed if:

  • A person (who generally must be 21 or over, with limited exceptions) holds a valid Arkansas concealed weapon permit, and
  • Holds an endorsement from the Arkansas State Police after successfully completing an additional enhanced certification-training course of up to 8 hours.
  • Concealed carry weapons under this law are limited to handguns. A handgun is defined in Arkansas as “any firearm, other than a fully automatic firearm, with a barrel length of less than twelve inches that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.”

With the following prohibitions:

  • Being stored in any college facilities, including classrooms, locker rooms, or offices. (Concealed weapons can only be stored in a locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot.)
  • Northark athletic events and practices with approved security plans
  • Grievance and disciplinary hearings meeting certain requirements.

Open carry will not be allowed on campus. Handguns must be concealed from public view at all times, and the weapons must always be on the license holder’s person or in close proximity to be readily accessible. Violations of these rules occur when a person knowingly and intentionally displays the gun to another person, or stores (leaves) the handgun in a place other than a locked and unattended motor vehicle.A handgun may be used in self-defense only as allowed by Arkansas law. By so doing, the person is acting as a private citizen and not as an authorized agent of the college. This means they are liable with respect to the handgun’s use; if they are injured due to his or her own negligent acts in possessing or using a concealed handgun, they are not entitled to worker’s compensation, and are not immune from personal liability with respect to possession or use of a concealed handgun. 

The college is immune from a claim for monetary damages arising from or related to a licensee’s use of, or failure to use, a concealed handgun, if the licensee is employed by the college against whom the claim is filed and the licensee elects to possess the concealed handgun under this law.Under the law, concealed carry holders are required to show their weapon to law enforcement officers if asked to do so. If an officer believes a safety risk exists, he can also disarm an individual. It remains a criminal act to exhibit threatening behavior with a gun, and officers will take appropriate action to respond to such situations. Northark faculty and staff do not have the authority to ban handguns from any location not specified in Acts 562 and 859.