Colleges in Arkansas are preparing for life with guns. Starting September 1st, those with a concealed carry license can bring their firearm on campus.
Northwest Arkansas Community College has created a Conceal Carry Task Force to outline how they plan to respond to Act 562.
The Conceal Carry Task Force has a variety of people from all different positions at the college examining how the school should prepare for the new law. This week, the task force approved a policy draft to present to the college’s president, after many months of discussion.
“If they come on this campus there’s no reason to feel afraid or anything like that,” said Cecil White, NWACC Police Officer. “We want to get ahead of the game, and get something going and have policy in place and procedures in place so we can stay up with what’s going on.”
Some of the main points in the draft emphasize that all off-campus buildings, like the Public K-12 buildings and the Jones Center for Families, will not allow guns.
They’re also asking the school to switch up the current signs on campus. “They’re going to put signage up around the campus at certain locations. So when you come onto campus you’re going to be able to see that,” said White.
The draft also asked NWACC to be clear in the student conduct handbook, you must have a concealed-carry permit and training to bring a gun on college grounds.
White said the college’s police department is looking to add more education.
“We’re developing procedures, and training our officers on how to deal with gun sightings, and things like that,” said White. “We’re really looking at some other things we can put on our website to let the students look at saying this is what you shouldn’t do. This is what to expect.”
Moving forward, White said the task force will help keep them prepared for the future.
“As you go on things are going to change, and we’re going to have to be there to do that having all these people together giving their ideas is a very positive thing,” explained White.
While Arkansas Act 562 does become law on September 1st, Arkansas State Police will have up to 120 days to write the rules for a person to receive the mandatory training to bring a gun on campus.