If you had any doubt that the NRA is running the current bill, #HB1249, you might look at this recent posting on their lobbying website. You will see that it wrongly claims that "the Garner amendment maintains the excessive 16 hour training requirement."
Falsely representing the bill’s language allows the NRA to garner support for their extreme agenda, knowing as they do that their members will not read the currently amended bill.
But here are the facts. The language of the Garner amendment states that a "training program administered under this subsection may consist of up to sixteen (16) hours and may include:
(i) Active shooter training;
(ii) Defensive tactics;
(iii) Weapon retention; and
(iv) Handgun safety and maintenance."
Notice the language: a training program "may" carry a requirement of 16 hours, at most, but it isn’t required. And it "may" include those specific instructions, but they aren’t required either.
Add to this that the program’s cost cannot, according to the Garner amendment, "exceed a nominal amount," and you have a more accurate idea of what kind of training will be offered. Nominal, or minimal, at best.
It is also important to understand the sequence of these amendments. The bill, as sponsored by Representative Collins, began ONLY as faculty-staff carry with appropriate licensing.
Senator Hutchinson, on the Senate side, amended it with a few carve-outs and a minimum of 16 hours of active-shooter training.
Collins, of course, objected, and the so-called "compromise" that came out of the past weekend resulted in a bill that greatly expanded campus-carry to ANYONE—students, faculty, staff, and the GENERAL POPULATION—who is over the age of 25 and obtains the appropriate and now greatly weakened active-shooter training.
So, this bill is NOT a compromise bill, even though I have heard that language already coming out of Little Rock.
It is a greatly expanded version of the original #HB1249 that Collins proposed, and one that increases EXPONENTIALLY the number of people who will be allowed to carry weapons on our campuses.
And it will be seen privately, at least, as a substantial victory both for the NRA and the Arkansas legislators that they support.
Those are the facts regarding this bill.