Arkansas Lt. Governor, Mark Darr signed Senate Bill 131 into law Friday. The measure makes all personal information of concealed-carry permit holders in Arkansas private.
In 2009, a legislative compromise was reached that bolstered the privacy of permit holders while still preserving the public's right to access information.
As we've been reporting, Governor Mike Beebe has decided not to veto the bill, but he won't sign it either.
According to a statement released from Beebe's office, without evidence of any problems resulting from this compromise over the past four years, Governor Beebe saw no need to further restrict information. Now, he plans to let the bill become law without his signature. That should happen next Monday, February 25th.
Meanwhile, Lt. Governor Darr released a statement following his signing the measure on Friday. It reads:
"Having been an outspoken advocate for Second Amendment rights, I felt passionately that there should be no delays in signing this bill into law. Within the bill is an emergency clause which states that once this bill is signed the State of Arkansas can no longer publicly release records concerning persons licensed to carry a concealed handgun or those applying for such a license. The release of such records is an invasion of privacy and threatens the safety and property of the persons identified.
I appreciate Senator Bruce Holland, the co-sponsors and the 80% of the 89th General Assembly who supported this bill, in their effort to protect the privacy of the citizens of Arkansas."