Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act could change Arkansas gun law

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would apply gun laws from the most permissive states to the most-strict states. (Photo: MGN)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KATV) -- A potential federal law could change the way states handle concealed carry licenses. The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would apply gun laws from the most permissive states to the most-strict states.

Arkansas State Representative Clarke Tucker tried making it illegal for people convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence to own a gun. The reciprocity act, for example, would unravel laws like that in other states across the country.

“As a state legislator, it came to my attention that in Arkansas, if you’re convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence, you can still own a firearm,” Tucker said. He set out to change all that with House Bill 1629.

“We need to offer better protection for victims of domestic violence,” he pointed out.

Although HB 1629 died, it’s laws similar in other states to what Tucker tried having done in Arkansas that could be wiped out by the piece of legislation making its way through Congress right now.

“Concealed carry reciprocity law. It’s a race to the bottom for the state with the most lax standard. For example, there are states that allow you to have a concealed carry license with no background check at all,” Tucker explained. If that law were to pass, a person could go anywhere in the country (with, say, a concealed carry license from a more permissive state) without having a background check.

But Tucker believes the potential law would create problems. He points out that if an Arkansas-based police officer were to pull someone over with a concealed carry license from another state, the officer might not know what to do.

“Based on what I’ve read and conversations that I’ve had, law enforcement officers but also prosecuting attorneys [are] heavily against the concealed carry reciprocity because we need to be able to make our own laws and have clarity as to what our laws in Arkansas are,” he said.

The US House of Representatives passed the concealed carry reciprocity act in December; it’s now on its way to the Senate.

Alaska is one of the most permissive states when it comes to gun control—having no requirements on background check, concealed carry permit, or gun license to own a firearm. California and Massachusetts, on the other hand, are among the most strict states regarding gun control.

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