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State Police Director Speaks Against Proposed Cut In Arkansas Concealed Carry Fees

Arkansas State Police

Despite concerns from the director of the Arkansas State Police, a legislative committee has advanced a bill that would cut the cost of a concealed carry handgun license in half. The law was passed in 1995 and most of the revenue goes to state police, which processes and administers licenses.

On Thursday, Col. Bill Bryant told members of the House Judiciary Committee that reducing the fee would impact his agency.

"These are forecasts, but we anticipate that [the cut] will cost us about $1.4 million in lost [revenue] in our budget. Again, we depend on that money," Bryant said.

House Bill 1036, would cut the license fee from $100 to $50 and the renewal fee from $35 to $25. The fee for senior citizens would drop from $50 to $25.

The backer of the bill, Rep. Jim Dotson, a Republican of Bentonville, acknowledged having the training is important, but noted the money going for state police is not consistent.  

"The special revenue fluctuates all over the board," Dotson said. "Putting in the base level revenue is the best approach for the future. We shouldn’t have an abnormally high concealed carry fee for the citizens in the state."

He also said the governor’s proposed budget includes an increase in general revenue which could offset the loss.

The bill now moves to the full House. A companion bill has also been filed in the Senate.