UPDATE: Ark. panel advances proposal on guns in churches

By ANDREW DeMILLOAssociated Press

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - An Arkansas legislative panel has advanced a proposal to allow concealed handguns in churches after rejecting an effort to require places of worship to carry more insurance if they permit firearms.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday endorsed the proposal from Republican Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest that would remove churches from the list of locations where concealed weapons are prohibited.

King's measure would leave it up to churches to determine whether to allow concealed weapons and who could carry them.

The panel advanced the measure after rejecting a proposed amendment that would have required churches to carry liability insurance to pay for any injury or death resulting from the use of a concealed weapon.

King's measure now heads to the Senate for a vote.

COMPLETE COVERAGEMeasures filed to allow guns in church, on campus (Jan. 17)UPDATE: Ark. panel advances proposal on guns in churches (Jan. 23)Bill to allow concealed weapons in churches picks up support (Jan. 23)Churches will soon have a choice to allow guns in the building (Feb. 4)Bill would require signs for gun-allowing churches (Feb. 8)Ark. Gov. signs bill permitting guns in church (Feb. 11)