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story.lead_photo.caption FILE - The Arkansas Senate meets Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. - Photo by Lee Hogan

— The Arkansas Senate approved Senate Bill 71 on Monday, which would allow concealed guns in participating churches.

The bill, called the Church Protection Act of 2013, passed the Senate by a 28-4 vote. The bill will now go to the Arkansas House of Representatives for a vote.

If the bill passes through the House, Gov. Mike Beebe would have to sign the bill into law for it to take effect.


Senate Bill 71: The Church Protection Act of 2013


An Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article reported that a Beebe spokesman said the governor was neutral on the bill and would likely sign the bill if it came to him.

Arkansas Senate approves guns in church bill

The Arkansas Senate approved Senate Bill 71, the Church Protection Act of 2013, by a vote of 28-4 on Monday. The bill will now go to the Arkansas House of Representatives for a vote. If the the bill passes the House and Gov. Mike Beebe signs the bill into law, concealed guns would be allowed in churches. (By Lee Hogan)
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Read more on this story in Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

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  • cindi22202170708
    January 28, 2013 at 8:52 p.m.

    Think of the thousands of church services weekly. Now think of the ones that have incidents where a gun would have helped. Unless I've missed a lot of news stories, they are far and few in between. Next think of the 3 who shot 5 of their own weekend before last at gunshows. Then do a search on any major news site for "accidental shootings" and see how many there are every single day. Finally, think of all the thousands of additional guns in those churches every week. This is a disaster just waiting to occur.

  • Libertarian
    January 28, 2013 at 11:14 p.m.

    Did anyone else note the 3 men that robbed the church during services in East St. Louis? Yeah, the problem doesn't exist. As long as one keeps one's head in the sand.

    article at st. louis dot com/news/local/crime-and-courts/police-have-two-in-custody-east-st-louis-church-holdup/article_f25a30c8-9ff2-5434-8e35-2416a9542eb3.html

  • Libertarian
    January 28, 2013 at 11:56 p.m.

    Cindy, millions of us are carrying guns every day, and no one is getting shot accidentally. You go about your business, blissfully ignorant of the armed grandmother next to you (my mom) or the father with his children. After a decade of concealed carry, it's pretty obvious it was never the catastrophe the John Brummetts of the world said it would be.

  • German
    January 29, 2013 at 12:08 a.m.

    I beg to differ. This bill is good for Arkansas. I cannot see how this bill will create a bad national public image for Arkansas. Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Shumer and Michael Bloomberg have become viral. We have a British Talk Show host in Piers Morgan who is trying to bring British Law to America. I am a naturalized citizen myself. I do vote and I have my opinions. Yet, I would never dare trying to bring German laws to America. I am a strong Obama supporter and I think that background checks should be universal. There ought to be no place where the likes of Charles Manson can walk out with a gun. Anything else, like banning mags over 10 rounds..BAD IDEA...gun free zones....BAD IDEA. The Washington anti-gun-gang is standing on the graves of the dead children. Do I agree with most things Obama sais and does,YES I DO, New England Style gun control..NO MR. PRESIDENT.
    This bill is good because it will tell Washington that they better watch what they are doing. The Pres' might be in his final term...but there are a whole lot of candidates after him who wanna be elected...ARKANSAS DOES HAVE A DOG IN THIS FIGHT!!!

  • FreeSpiritMan
    January 29, 2013 at 12:39 a.m.

    Hillbilly,barefoot,pregnant,redneck,right wing conservative, and now, pistol packing pew sitters. Arkansas has a lot going for it and the rest of the Nation knows it, our license plate motto "Land of Opportunity" is a joke and will always will be. Hey business why don't you want to come to Arkansas. Could it be our legislature spends more time passing bills about abortion and pew packing and defeating bill like medical marijauna, than building more trade schools and community colleges and making tution more afordable.

  • PaulRevere
    January 29, 2013 at 8:30 a.m.

    The bill only fixes a mistake made by the original concealed carry law, which removed the right of a church to decide whether it wants to restrict carrying a firearm while in its buildings. Those who say this makes Arkansans look bad fail to understand that many states do not specifically exempt churches from the locations one cannot carry a firearm. The funny part about all this fuss is that the ONLY persons who cannot currently carry a gun in church are those who obey the law. The proposed new laws only restrict the law-abiding citizen, and will almost certainly turn law-abiding citizens into law breakers if passed.

  • Whippersnapper
    January 29, 2013 at 9:30 a.m.

    BillSmith says
    "Hey business why don't you want to come to Arkansas. Could it be our legislature spends more time passing bills about abortion and pew packing and defeating bill like medical marijauna [sic], than building more trade schools and community colleges and making tution [sic] more afordable [sic]."
    BS, once again you prove that you don't pay attention. Where are businesses re-locating to in the United States? Southern states full of, how did you phrase it again? Oh yeah... "Hillbilly,barefoot,pregnant,redneck,right wing conservative, and now, pistol packing pew sitters."
    That's right, BS, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, South Carolina etc. have what in common? Oh yeah, ultra-red conservative, church-going gun-toting states. That's where big companies are choosing to relocate in the United States, not the sky blue liberal, atheist-leaning, hand-wringing, quiche-eating* states like Massachusetts, New York, California and their Obama-worshiping brethren. In fact, businesses are actively fleeing the periwinkle government dependency states to seek out the strong and independent minded red states all the time. Using your typical BS logic, you have evaluated the situation and declared that 1 + 1 = pineapple upside down cake. Good job. Keep it up. The rest of your lib buddies will be around in a few minutes to declare that you are indeed the smartest among them, for as much as that obviously means.
    *note - there is nothing inherently wrong with eating or liking quiche, but in the natural flow of this rant that line just felt right. I apologize to any conservative who appreciates a good quiche now and then.

  • Whippersnapper
    January 29, 2013 at 9:34 a.m.

    ...and yes, Mr. BS, I have decided that your comments on every thread will need some logical toilet paper to wipe them away before they stick around too long and stink up the joint. Very unhygienic to let BS go unattended, you know. (and I know you haven't been paying attention for a couple decades so I'll kindly point out that it has been that long since the license plate motto was "Land of Opportunity")

  • Duncan
    January 29, 2013 at 8:18 p.m.

    This bill is a great example of a bunch of stupid politicians flapping their jaws so that they will look like they're doing something without actually doing something. Unless there is some kind of law that I'm not aware of I believe that Churches could decide to allow concealed, or open carry guns at their leisure if their members so determined. Churches are essentially private clubs. The Legislature has no reason to pass such a law and no right to either.

  • FreeSpiritMan
    January 29, 2013 at 8:38 p.m.

    whipper.....what are businesses re-locating and why. Right to work and low wages.