The University of Arkansas is committed to providing a safe campus environment for all who work, study and visit. We continue to work closely with the University of Arkansas System for guidance on policies and procedures for implementation and compliance with state laws.
Q: What is Enhanced Concealed Carry?
A: According to the Arkansas State Police, an enhanced license authorizes the licensee to “carry” or “possess” a concealed handgun in the buildings and on the grounds of certain locations. Possession is limited to carrying of the handgun on or about the licensee’s person, in a vehicle occupied by licensee, or otherwise readily available for use. At all times, the licensee must retain the firearm in his or her immediate vicinity (within arm’s reach). A licensee is not authorized to leave the handgun unattended in a separate location for safekeeping or future use, except when the handgun is placed in a locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot as permitted by law.
Q: Can I include language in my class syllabus about enhanced carry rules?
A: Yes. The Provost’s Office has established the following statement that can be used by faculty wanting to include information about enhanced concealed carry on campus.
Reminder About Concealed Carry On Campus
Handguns are only allowed on campus (including all classrooms) to the extent specifically authorized by state law. Each individual who lawfully possesses a handgun and an enhanced carry permit is required to keep the handgun concealed from public view at all times and is responsible for carrying the handgun in a safe manner.
If an individual carries a concealed handgun in a personal carrier such as a backpack, purse, or handbag, the carrier must remain within the individual’s immediate vicinity (within arm’s reach). During this course, you may be required to engage in activities that may require you to separate from your belongings such as taking a quiz or examination, and thus you should plan accordingly. Any student who violates the concealed carry laws while on campus may be subject to criminal prosecution and/or discipline by the University, up to and including dismissal. If you observe someone displaying a handgun or other weapon on campus, it should be reported to the University of Arkansas Police Department.
Q: Can anyone carry a handgun on an Arkansas public university campus when the new
laws take effect?
A: No. Campus carry is limited to individuals who have been issued a concealed handgun license in Arkansas and who complete enhanced certification training of up to 8 hours developed by the Arkansas State Police as required by Act 562.
Q: Is an individual required to be at least 21 in order to obtain a concealed handgun
A: Generally, yes. However, under Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-309(3), a concealed handgun license is also available to applicants who are at least 18 and (i) currently a federally recognized commissioned or noncommissioned officer or an enlisted member on active duty in the United States Armed Forces; (ii) in the National Guard or a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces; or (iii) a former member of the United States Armed Forces who has been honorably discharged.
Q: What does “concealed” mean?
A: “Concealed” means to cover from observation so as to prevent public view, per Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-301(2).
Q: Can I prohibit guns from my classroom?
A: No. Faculty and staff are not allowed to restrict concealed weapons in their classrooms. The law allows people who meet the requirements to carry concealed handguns on campus and in buildings. Faculty cannot prohibit concealed carriers with the proper license and enhanced certification from their classrooms and carriers cannot be penalized for doing so.
Q: Can I prohibit guns from my office?
A: No. Faculty may state their personal preference that guns not be brought to class or offices, but they should acknowledge that concealed carriers with the proper license and enhanced certification do not have to comply with that preference and may not be penalized on that basis. However, the new laws prohibit an individual from carrying a handgun into grievance and disciplinary meetings conducted in accordance with university procedures and lasting no more than 9 hours provided (a) the meeting is held in a room that is “no larger than necessary to complete the meeting;” (b) participants are given at least 24 hours’ notice of the meeting; and (c) a notice is posted on the door in which the meeting is being held that possession of a handgun is prohibited.
Q: Can I ask a student, faculty member or staff member if they are carrying a gun?
A: Yes, but they are under no requirement to answer. Individuals with the proper concealed carry permits do not have to identify themselves as carrying a weapon if asked unless asked by a law enforcement officer in accordance with Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-315. No action may be taken against an employee or student because of their status as a concealed carry permit holder.
Q: What do I do if I see someone with a gun in my class or on campus?
A: Students, staff members, faculty members and visitors may not display a handgun on University of Arkansas System campuses. Handguns must be concealed at all times, barring life-threatening emergencies. If you observe someone displaying a handgun on campus, it should be reported to the University of Arkansas Police Department. If you observe someone displaying a handgun on campus in a threatening manner, call 911.
Q: Can I cancel class if a student has a concealed weapon with the proper permits?
Q: Will university faculty and staff be allowed to carry a concealed handgun?
A: Yes, provided the faculty or staff member has obtained the required concealed handgun license, and has successfully completed the requisite enhanced certification training. Act 562 specifies that unless an employee is required to carry a firearm as part of the employee’s specific job duties (i.e., Police Officer), any possession or use of a firearm by the employee is not considered to be within the scope of employment with the university. As such, any employee who chooses to possess or use a firearm is acting in the employee’s individual capacity and not as an agent of the university, and is not immune from personal liability with respect to possession or use of the handgun. If the employee is injured by his or her own negligence in possessing or using a handgun in the workplace, he or she will not be entitled to worker’s compensation. Additionally, employees who decide to carry a concealed handgun must plan appropriately for its legal storage. Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-306 (13)(B)(v) specifies that storage of a concealed handgun is allowed in a locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot.
Q: What is the penalty for bringing a concealed handgun to campus without being properly
licensed or for carrying a concealed handgun into a prohibited area?
A: Those who violate the campus carry law are subject to legal action in accordance with Acts 562 and 859. Additionally, violations of the campus carry law may, for employees, result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and for students, result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the university.
Q: May I store a handgun in my office?
A: No. Even employees with a special endorsement for concealed carry on campus may not store their handgun in any university facilities, including classrooms, locker rooms, or offices. The only allowable storage for handguns on campus is in locked and unattended motor vehicles on university or public property.
Q: Will concealed handguns be allowed at college-sponsored athletic events, such as
Razorback football games?
A: No. Act 859 prohibits individuals (regardless of certification) from carrying a concealed handgun into a collegiate athletic event, provided the event is a posted firearm-sensitive area under a security plan approved by the Arkansas State Police. The university will be working with the State Police and will submit security plans to obtain approval to have these venues designated as firearm-sensitive areas.
Q: I have a concealed carry permit issued in another state. Can I carry my concealed
weapon on campus?
A: No. A person must have a valid concealed carry permit and complete the additional enhanced certification training to receive an enhanced permit, in order to be allowed to carry on campus.
Q: Can a student, faculty member or staff member carry a concealed weapon to a school-sponsored
event or class field trip off campus?
A: Yes, if they hold a concealed carry permit and if the event is at a location where the state of Arkansas allows concealed weapons.
Q. Can faculty, staff or students carry concealed weapons off campus?
A. Arkansas has offered a concealed weapon permit since 1996 that allows people to carry concealed weapons in the state.
For more information please see the U of A System FAQs and implementation guidance or the Arkansas State Police Concealed Handgun Carry License Rules.
Concealed handguns are allowed on campus for people (who generally must be 21 or over, with limited exceptions) who hold a valid concealed carry permit and an enhanced concealed carry permit as established by the Arkansas State Police. The Arkansas State Police revised the Arkansas Concealed Handgun Carry License Rules in January 2018 to include enhanced concealed carry licensing and training requirements, restrictions and rules.
According to the Arkansas State Police, possession is limited to carrying of the handgun on or about the licensee’s person, in a vehicle occupied by licensee, or otherwise readily available for use.
At all times, the licensee must retain the firearm in his or her immediate vicinity (within arm’s reach).
A licensee is not authorized to leave the handgun unattended in a separate location for safekeeping or future use, except when the handgun is placed in a locked and unattended motor vehicle in a publicly owned and maintained parking lot as permitted by law.
Concealed carry is only allowed on campus if:
- A person is 21 or over, and
- Holds an Arkansas concealed weapon permit, and
- Holds an enhanced concealed weapon permit with up to eight hours of additional training
Open carry is not allowed on campus
U of A faculty and staff do not have the authority to ban handguns from classrooms
Concealed weapons cannot be stored in residence halls, fraternity or sorority houses
Concealed weapons are prohibited from:
- Athletic events and venues
- Jean Tyson Child Development Center