LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Governor Asa Hutchinson notified the legislature Friday he vetoed the Arkansas Sovereignty Act of 2021.
Senate Bill 298 states the federal government doesn’t have the authority to impose gun laws and regulations. The bill also noted the state would not adhere to the federal gun laws and regulations or help federal agencies enforce them.
In a letter sent to the General Assembly on Friday, Governor Hutchinson noted, “The partnership between state and federal law enforcement officers is essential for the safety of Arkansas citizens. This bill will break that partnership and put the safety of Arkansans at risk.”
Hutchinson also noted in the letter, “I understand the intent of the bill is to provide citizens with confidence that law enforcement officers of this state will not participate in the enforcement of unconstitutional laws. I fully support that intention, but this bill does not accomplish that goal.”
The bill’s lead sponsor was St. Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R- District 6) and the primary sponsor was St. Rep. Brandt Smith (R- District 58).
Both the House and Senate can override the veto with a majority vote.
Lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced similar bills this year.