Arkansas lawmakers are considering possible gun control measures.
Arkansas House Democrats plan to introduce legislation raising the age limit for buying a semi-automatic rifle, lawmakers are talking about now.
ARKANSAS, USA — It has now been more than a week since the fatal school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson openly discusses school safety on the national stage.
The governor was on CBS Mornings on Wednesday, June 1, discussing what he thinks needs to be done to make schools safer.
“We are a great nation and we need to protect our children in school,” Governor Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson says there is no topic more important than school safety. He fully supports the Second Amendment and believes there needs to be a conversation about the age required to purchase an AR-15. Currently the minimum age is 18.
“We really don’t want to deprive our citizens of the right to protect themselves, to enjoy it, whether it’s some type of semi-automatic weapon,” he said. “We have some and it’s just the age limit between 18 and 21 that I think is part and parcel of the debate.”
Senators on both sides of the aisle are scrambling to find common ground on new gun control legislation as they return to session next week.
Arkansas Senator John Boozman said schools should be a safe haven.
“We all want to see this tragic pattern come to an end, but it’s important to work together on solutions that achieve that outcome and also protect our constitutional rights,” Boozman said. “Our schools should be a safe haven and we should spare no resources in implementing the kind of measures he will take to secure them. It is also clear that the perpetrators share common characteristics that need to be identified earlier and brought appropriate intervention. As Senate talks continue, I will assess all proposals to ensure they balance the role of the federal government with the need to ensure that law-abiding Americans maintain our freedoms. .”
Arkansas Rep. Steve Womack said the deep pain and innocent lives stolen from Uvalde are unfathomable.
“This sickening tragedy shows the deep fissures and crises of heart and mind that have permeated our society,” he said. “No child should have to face this kind of harm – and we must address the root causes of this horrific violence. Bipartisan reforms should focus on identifying and intervening with those at high risk, by ensuring well-coordinated and trained law enforcement, and making our schools safer.”
Governor Hutchinson agrees that mental health is an important part of this discussion.
“I applaud senators who have everything on the table and we need to avoid being so divided and say if there is anything we can agree on,” he said. “It’s going to be narrow, it’s going to be targeted, but the question is whether it will make a difference.”
Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman said the tragic loss of life at Uvalde was too horrific for words.
“These were acts of pure evil committed by a very ill individual,” he said. “No parent should be afraid to send their child to school, and we need to find a way to bring safety back to education. Unfortunately, the solutions proposed by congressional Democrats are not solutions at all, but rhetoric to promote their agenda to limit the second amendment for law-abiding citizens. I’m closely evaluating possible legislation to create deterrents for shootings like this and make schools more safe without infringing on the constitutional rights of all Americans.
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