LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Following the devastating news out of Maine, it has sparked conversation on what can be done legally in Arkansas to prevent something similar from happening here.
In recent years, Arkansas has seen two mass shootings in Dumas and in Little Rock and no new legislation has been passed to change any gun restrictions.
“I don’t like it,” former Rep. Bob Ballinger said. “It hurts me I’m sad for the families that are involved.”
“What makes it particularly heartbreaking for me is that I know we can do something,” Sen. Clarke Tucker (D-14) said.
After 18 lives were lost in the Maine mass shooting, people all over the country are heartbroken for the families of the victims.
Mass shootings have happened here in Arkansas, most recently at a car show in Dumas in 2022, as well as a shooting in Little Rock at a nightclub, Power Ultra Lounge, in 2017.
Looking at gun laws here in Arkansas, people are allowed to carry a gun without a concealed carry license according to Act 777.
Also, people who have been to a mental health facility can get their concealed carry license within two years of treatment according to Act 30.
Tucker and Ballinger serve or have served in the legislature and worked on gun laws in the state.
Both said the true underlying problem is mental health.
“I don’t like the idea of seeing a mass shooting and shaping our gun laws because of that mass shooting,” Ballinger said. “I don’t know that there is anything that really has to be done, let’s talk about mental illness and why we are dealing with this problem so much more than we have in the past.”
“It’s not an either-or situation, we can do both,” Tuckers said. “We can do more work for the mental health of Arkansans, and we can also pass some commonsense reform that makes gun ownership more responsible.”