Bill to allow guns in churches with schools advances

LITTLE ROCK (Arkansas News Bureau) A person with a concealed handgun permit could take a weapon into a church that also operates a K-12 private school, with the church's permission, under a bill that passed the Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill 896 Sen. Bryan King, R-Green Forest, would add a new defense against prosecution for possession of a firearm on school property. It passed the Senate 29-4 and goes to the House.

A new law adopted earlier this year, Act 67, allows a concealed-carry permit holder to carry a gun into a place of worship if the facility allows concealed weapons inside.

King said he filed the bill after being told by lawyers with the Bureau of Legislative Research that there were some legal concerns about carrying a concealed weapon in churches that have private schools in their building.

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