Arkansas teachers can carry guns after all

Robby Soave Reporter
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An Arkansas licensing board voted to let teachers keep their weapon permits for at least two years, meaning that districts wishing to protect schools with armed staff members may do so.

The board initially revoked all licenses it had issued to teachers, but then decided on Wednesday to reinstate them for a period of two years, according to The Arkansas Project.

The vote affects Clarksville School District, which had been training staff this summer to carry guns as a safeguard against school shootings, and Lake Hamilton School District, which has allowed its staff to carry weapons for 20 years.

Last month, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issues an opinion that arming teachers was illegal under state law. Since his opinion was nonbinding, Clarksville went back and forth on whether it should comply. Schools had already received weapons permits for some teachers, but were waiting on approval for others. (RELATED: Arkansas school district will arm teachers, AG opinion be damned)

The licensing agency’s decision means that teachers who already have licenses can keep them. The legislature is expected to take up the issue soon, and could extend the right for staff members to seek weapons permits.

“Arkansas Carry encourages the legislature to pass a law in the fiscal session specifically authorizing local public schools to decide on their own security plans, without the interference of bureaucrats or anti-gun ideologues like Dustin McDaniel,” said Nicholas Stehle, a member of the board of gun rights group Arkansas Carry, in a statement.

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