Petition for Arkansas HB1237 of 2009 sign now

This petition expresses support for removing churches and other places of worship from the list of Prohibited Places under Arkansas Code 5-73-306, The Arkansas Concealed Handgun Licensing Law. We support HB1237 of 2009 as the avenue through which to accomplish this.

We hold that a church building is private property, and as such the right of the entity controlling said property to decide whether or not to allow the carrying of a concealed handgun in accordance with Arkansas law should be recognized.

We recognize that the only other private properties subjected to this restriction are some establishments where alcoholic beverages are dispensed for consumption on the premises. We affirm that the existing law is a government mandate that a private entity (i.e. a church or other place of worship) do what the mass of other private entities are not required to do and therefore is a violation of the rights of the local congregation.

We also recognize that members, staff, and volunteers who work at a church or other place of worship are often present at times when the congregation is not gathered and that removing churches and other places of worship from the list of Prohibited Places would allow these individuals another avenue through which to provide for their personal security at such times.

We further recognize the reality of recent acts of crime against people who are gathered for worship and assert that allowing those who hold a Concealed Handgun License recognized by the sate of Arkansas to carry a concealed handgun in a church or other place of worship is a reasonable means of defense.

For the foregoing reasons, we residents of the State of Arkansas affirm and assert that each church should be permitted to either allow or prohibit the carrying of a concealed handgun by the holder of a Concealed Handgun License at its own discretion.

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Kara RhodesBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
Arkansas State Legislature and Arkansas Governor

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