By a vote of 98 to 1, the Arkansas State House passed House Bill 1623 last week, proposed legislation to protect the identities of concealed carry holders. That bill was authored by Representative Randy Stewart (D-23), a former Olympic shooter and a concealed-carry course instructor.
According to the National Rifle Association, “This legislation was drafted in response to the invasion of Right to Carry permit holders’ privacy when a list of permittees was published online, and it will make private the personal information of all Right to Cary permit holders. HB 1623 allows for the list to be accessed only by law enforcement agencies for the purpose of assisting with a criminal investigation or prosecution, or for determining the validity of, or eligibility for, a license.”
The website for the Arkansas Times published the list.
“We’re not trying to pit the Second Amendment against the First Amendment, but I think in this time they’re kind of converging,” Stewart told the Associated Press. “And we need to do some protection for the people, the law-abiding citizens, who have gone to the trouble to (take) the class, the background check, pay $144.25 for the license. We need to protect their rights also.”
The bill moved onto the Arkansas Senate for consideration.