Concealed carry bill to become law

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A concealed carry permit holder in the state of Arkansas will be able to possess a concealed handgun in their personal vehicle at their employer's parking lot, under a bill that will become law.

The bill, Senate Bill 37, was approved 24-7 in the state Senate and 66-17 in the state House during the legislative session in Little Rock earlier this year. The bill is now Act 1071.

The bill, one of several major bills approved this session,  sets the legislative intent for the new law.

"It is the intent of this act to reinforce and protect the right of each citizen to lawfully transport and store a handgun within his or her private motor vehicle for lawful purposes in any place where the private motor vehicle is otherwise permitted to be located," the bill notes.

The law amends current law and provides license rights for a private employer parking lot.

"A private employer shall not prohibit an employee who is a licensee from transporting or storing a legally owned handgun in the employee's private motor vehicle in the private employer's parking lot when the handgun is lawfully possessed; is stored out of sight inside a locked private motor vehicle in the private employer's parking lot; and is stored inside a locked personal handgun storage container that is designed for the safe storage of a handgun," the law reads.

The employee also has to have the key to the storage container.

Also, the employer has the right to "prohibit a person who is not an employee from storing a handgun in the employee's motor vehicle in the private employer's parking lot and prohibit a licensee's entry onto the private employer's place of business or in the parking lot because the person's private motor vehicle contains a handgun" if the parking lot is prohibited under Arkansas Code 5-73-306 and if the parking lot is on the grounds of a single-family detached home or a tenant-occupied single family detached residence, among other reasons.

A Craighead County woman said she supports the idea.

"I'm for it, I actually have a concealed carry license and it makes me feel good to know that no matter where I'm at, I can have my weapon if I want to and leave it in my vehicle and not feel like that I can't carry it in," Tracy Tucker of Jonesboro said.

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