The Arkansas House of Representatives has passed a bill that makes it clear that people with medical marijuana can get concealed carry licenses for guns. The bill will now be looked at by the Arkansas Senate, as reported by Marijuana Moment.
Rep. Aaron Pilkington’s (R) bill passed the full House on Tuesday with an 82-5 vote. It had been through the House Judiciary Committee a few days before.
Pilkington said on the floor that it is because of the state’s medical marijuana law “no patient’s right or privilege could be infringed upon on the basis of having medical marijuana” but that “this wasn’t extended to concealed carry holders.”
Senator Nathan Manning’s (R) state bill, now law, also altered state regulations to make it clear that taking part in the medical marijuana program does not automatically categorize an individual as a regular or chronic user of controlled drugs thus ensuring they remain eligible for obtaining a concealed carry permit. Additionally, the Department of Health is precluded from disclosing a patient’s status as part of a criminal investigation.
Furthermore, while other states have taken measures to preserve gun rights for cannabis users more generally, this particular law focuses on concealed carry criteria and privileges. Notably, Arkansas does not necessitate a license to carry firearms openly but some citizens prefer to obtain one for safety reasons when traveling to other states or making contact with police officials.