Concealed Handgun Carry on Campus
The Arkansas State University System is dedicated to providing an educational and social climate that is safe for its students, employees, and visitors. This document is intended to provide general information about Arkansas law concerning the ability of a person to lawfully carry a concealed handgun on ASU System campuses.
Frequently Asked Questions
- When does the law allowing concealed carry on campus take effect?The law is effective September 1, 2017, but Arkansas State Police officials estimate it will be after January 2018 until instructors are qualified to teach the required enhanced training. It will likely be 2018 before the first enhanced concealed carry permit is issued.
- Can anyone with a concealed handgun carry license carry on campus?No.
- Who is eligible to carry a concealed handgun on campus?A person licensed to carry a concealed handgun in the State of Arkansas who has also completed the Arkansas State Police-approved enhanced training and received an endorsement. (For more information on prohibited areas on campus, please see #12 and #13 below)
- Will the ASU System provide employees or students with training on how to properly use a handgun?No. Concealed carry licensees are required to complete mandatory safety courses to acquire concealed carry licenses, and they will be required to complete up to 8 hours of Arkansas State Police-approved enhanced training before being authorized to carry on a campus.
- Will I encounter certain individuals that openly carry a handgun?Yes. Law enforcement officers, including University Police, Campus Police, and Public Safety officers may openly carry their service weapon.
- Is open carry otherwise allowed on campus?No. Anyone who sees an openly carried gun by anyone other than law enforcement should call 911.
- How does a licensee carry a concealed handgun on campus?A “concealed handgun” is a handgun that is covered from observation so as to prevent public view. A concealed handgun carry licensee may not carry a handgun openly or in any other manner in which it is visible to ordinary observation or in public view.
When carrying a concealed handgun on campus, a licensee must carry a valid concealed handgun carry license (CHCL) with the endorsement and a valid ID and must display both upon demand by a law enforcement officer.
- What type of firearm may lawfully be concealed?A “handgun” is any firearm, other than a fully automatic firearm, with a barrel length of less than twelve inches (12”) that is designed, made, or adapted to be fired with one hand.
- Are faculty and staff allowed to carry a concealed handgun on campus?Yes, if the enhanced concealed carry licensure requirements are met.
- Are faculty and staff required to carry a concealed handgun on campus?No.
- What are limitations for faculty and staff who are licensees carrying a concealed handgun on campus?Unless possessing or carrying a handgun is a requirement of an employee’s job, (such as a law enforcement officer), possessing or carrying a handgun is a personal choice of the licensee and not a requirement of the employing university or college.
A licensee who possesses a concealed handgun in the buildings and on the grounds of the campus at which the licensee is employed is not:
- Acting in the course of or scope of their employment when carrying or using the handgun.
- Entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries arising from his or her own negligent acts in possessing or using a concealed handgun.
- Immune from personal liability with respect to possession or use of a concealed handgun.
- Permitted to carry a concealed handgun openly or in any other manner in which the concealed handgun is visible to ordinary observation.
- Where may a person authorized to carry on campus store a handgun?Properly licensed individuals who decide to carry a concealed handgun must plan appropriately for its legal storage.
- A licensee may store a handgun in his or her own locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot.
- A licensee may not store a handgun in a university or college-operated student dormitory or residence hall.
- A licensee may not store a handgun in a locked office or desk drawer. A licensee may not store a handgun in an ASU vehicle.
- Where are the areas on campus that carrying a concealed handgun is prohibited?State law exempts certain areas from concealed handgun carry including:
- A posted firearm-sensitive area, such as a collegiate athletic event, that have security plans approved by the Arkansas State Police. A “collegiate athletic event” is a sporting or athletic contest, event, or practice of an individual or team in which one or more individuals or a team sponsored by, funded by, represented by, or associated with a public or private university, college, or community college competes against themselves or another individual or team. The System will be working with the State Police and will submit security plans to designate firearm-sensitive areas.
- Certain grievance and disciplinary meetings conducted in accordance with university procedures.
- A public school K-12, prekindergarten, or daycare facility.
- Private educational institutions, such as the NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine.
- Centennial Bank Stadium, 2720 A Street
- First National Bank Arena, 217 Olympic Drive
- Cooper Alumni Center, 2600 Alumni Boulevard
- Fowler Center, 201 Olympic Drive
- Pavilion, 2605 A Street
- Tomlinson Stadium, 208 Olympic Drive
- If I have an enhanced permit, may I bring a concealed carry weapon into a testing center on campus? There is no state law that prohibits a person, who has an enhanced permit, from bringing a concealed carry weapon into a testing center unless the testing center is located in a building on campus that does not allow firearms (see Question #13 above). However, some companies who administer standardized tests on a national basis have testing rules that prohibit test takers from possessing firearms during a standardized exam. Violations of these rules may, in some instances, result in exams being invalidated. Students and others, who are scheduled to take these exams, are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these testing rules.
- What should I do if I’m aware that someone is a concealed handgun carry licensee?Properly licensed individuals may not be excluded from class or elsewhere on campus because others feel uncomfortable. The act of lawfully carrying a concealed handgun is not in and of itself a disruption of class activity or other university operations.
- What should I do if I see a handgun and feel threatened?Any concerns about violations of the concealed handgun carry law should be brought to the immediate attention of the University Police or campus security. Emergencies should be reported to law enforcement by calling 911.
- What are the penalties for violating the concealed handgun carry licensure rules and regulations or for carrying a concealed handgun into a prohibited area?There are misdemeanor criminal penalties for violating the concealed handgun carry laws. The license may also be revoked upon conviction for certain offenses.
- Whom should I contact to determine my eligibility to carry a concealed handgun on campus?Contact the Arkansas State Police at 501-618-8000 and see the Services and Programs section of the Arkansas State Police website.