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story.lead_photo.caption File photo -- Attorney David Couch

LITTLE FLOCK -- An initiated act to let state colleges and universities decide whether to allow concealed carry firearms on campus is likely to go to the 2020 ballot, an organizer of several successful ballot initiatives told a crowd of about 150 people Saturday.

"People are polling over it, and if those polls show what we expect then there will be a guns-on-campus initiated act to return local control to each college and university," said David Couch of Little Rock. He spoke to the crowd at the Little Flock picnic, an annual fundraiser and rally of the Democratic Party of Benton County.

Couch led the successful initiated campaigns for a medical marijuana legalization amendment in 2016 and a 2018 act raising the state minimum wage.

Act 562 of 2017 allows gun owners with the proper permits and extra training to carry concealed handguns onto state-run college campuses and into the state Capitol and other public buildings. Prior to Act 562, state colleges decided gun policy. None allowed guns on campus. The final version of Act 562 passed 71 to 18 in the House.

Guns rights advocate Sen. Bob Ballinger, R-Berryville, said he was disappointed Couch would attempt a repeal to overturn a law with broad public support but expects to be pleased by the result of any such election on the issue.

"I'm confident that Arkansans support gun rights," Ballinger said in a telephone interview after Couch's announcement. "If he wants to put an issue on the ballot that will get my base turned out to vote for Republicans while upholding their 2nd Amendment rights, that's fine with me." The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms.

NW News on 09/29/2019

Print Headline: Guns-on-campus repeal in the works, activist says

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