New Legislation Challenges Gun-Free Zones

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A bill was introduced on Tuesday, March 5 in Little Rock, which seeks to eliminate gun-free zones.

House bill 1694 was submitted by District 18 Representative Richard Womack and District 6 Senator Gary Don Stubblefield. Proponents of the bill maintain that eliminating gun-free zones will provide a safer environment for the public by allowing citizens the right to carry a weapon to defend themselves in public places.

The bill would not affect federal statute restricted gun-free zones, which include public schools, federal buildings, and other specific locations. This bill would not infringe upon private property rights, as private entities such as churches, businesses, and home owners still determine if weapons are allowed on their property.

Additionally, this bill does not authorize carrying a weapon in prisons, jails, courtrooms, collegiate athletic events, State Hospital, or UAMS.

Statistics show that 97.8 percent of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. Those who are fighting for this bill claim that these so called gun-free zones are illusionary, noting that criminals have no regard for the law. Furthermore, that the effect of gun free zones is making law abiding citizens needless targets.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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