Churches will soon have a choice to allow guns in the building - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Churches will soon have a choice to allow guns in the building

Posted: Updated:

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - Churches will soon have the choice whether to allow concealed guns in their buildings. Senate Bill 71, which gives churches that authority, cleared one of its last hurdles this afternoon. The final vote was 85 in favor and 8 against the bill.

For weeks, the bill has been called a gun bill, and though guns are involved, the bill's sponsor Representative Nate Bell says this isn't about the Second Amendment, it's about the First Amendment.

"You see, the First Amendment begins with these words, Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," quoted Rep. Bell.

Bell and others say current Arkansas law interferes with a church's freedom by making the decision for the church. This new law would put that power back in the hands of the church.

However, not everyone voted yes on Senate Bill 71. Representative Fredrick Love voted no. He worries this bill comes at a cost to churches, higher insurance premiums.

"Without having this amendment, people are concerned that their insurance is going to go up that its going to be a liability issue. It's very concerning legislation," said Rep. Love.

Governor Mike Beebe says he has heard from religious leaders also concerned about liability issues. He says if this new law needs to be amended, he'd like to get that done this session.

The bill becomes law the day Governor Beebe signs it, which he says he will. From there, it's in the hands of the church. A church will decide who, if anyone, is allowed to concealed carry in the building.

COMPLETE COVERAGE
Measures filed to allow guns in church, on campus (Jan. 17)
UPDATE: Ark. panel advances proposal on guns in churches (Jan. 23)

Bill to allow concealed weapons in churches picks up support (Jan. 23)
Churches will soon have a choice to allow guns in the building (Feb. 4)

Bill would require signs for gun-allowing churches (Feb. 8)
Ark. Gov. signs bill permitting guns in church (Feb. 11)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Authorities await ID on body found in burned car

    Authorities await ID on body found in burned car

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 1:17 PM EDT2014-04-23 17:17:48 GMT
    Authorities are investigating after a person was found dead inside of a burned car in St. Francis County.More >>
    Authorities are investigating after a person was found dead inside of a burned car in St. Francis County.More >>
  • Homeless man arrested in stabbing death of NLR man

    Homeless man arrested in stabbing death of NLR man

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:01 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:01:39 GMT
    LITTLE ROCK (KATV) – A homeless man was arrested Tuesday night after allegedly stabbing a man to death. Little Rock police officers were called to 1400 North Street, but were flagged down by a white male, Leslie Webb, on La Harpe.More >>
    LITTLE ROCK (KATV) – A homeless man was arrested Tuesday night after allegedly stabbing a man to death. Little Rock police officers were called to 1400 North Street, but were flagged down by a white male, Leslie Webb, on La Harpe.More >>
  • Cold Front To Increase Showers and T-Storms Thursday

    Cold Front To Increase Showers and T-Storms Thursday

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:50 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:50:29 GMT
    A cold air mass will remain over Arkansas this Christmas holiday. With sunshine on this Christmas Eve we'll see highs only in the upper 30s to mid 40's over the state.More >>
    Warm conditions will dominate the upcoming weekend and beyondMore >>