Arkansas legislator wants to pack heat at state Capitol - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas legislator wants to pack heat at state Capitol

Rep. Mickey Gates, R-Hot Springs (Source: Arkansas State House) Rep. Mickey Gates, R-Hot Springs (Source: Arkansas State House)

By TAFI MUKUNYADZI
Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Despite metal detectors and armed guards at the Arkansas Capitol, a state lawmaker says he would feel safer if he was allowed to pack his own heat.

Republican Rep. Mickey Gates is proposing that lawmakers licensed to carry a concealed handgun be allowed to bring their weapons into the Arkansas Capitol and other publicly owned facilities. Prisons would be excluded.

Arkansas lawmakers aren't subject to a search when they enter the Capitol.

Security officials at the Oklahoma Capitol last year had grumbled about a growing trend among some lawmakers breezing through checkpoints and declining to submit to a required weapons screening.

In New Hampshire in January, a lawmaker dropped her loaded gun on the floor near some children. It didn't go off.

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