Arkansas Legislature Passes Medical Marijuana Gun Rights Bill, Sending it to Governor

Arkansas legislation that would codify gun rights for medical marijuana patients has now been passed by the state’s full legislature, sending it to Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

House Bill 1784, which would amend the state’s gun laws to explicitly establish legal rights for medical marijuana patients, was passed by the full Senate on Friday by a vote of 26 to 3. The measure has already been passed by an 82 to 5 vote by the House of Representatives.

Although Governor Sanders has not given word on whether or not she will sign the measure into law or veto it,  it’s worth noting that the legislation passed with well more than enough votes to override an executive veto which can be done with a two-thirds majority.

Specifically House Bill 1784 would alter Arkansas’ laws related to concealed carry licenses to state that officials “shall not consider a person’s status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 98, § 2, in determining whether an applicant is eligible to be issued a license to carry a concealed handgun under this subchapter.”

The measure clarifies that a person’s status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver is “confidential”, and requires that the Department of Health not disclose the identity of a person who has been issued a registry identification card to the Division of the Arkansas State Police for the purpose of facilitating a criminal history record check or any other background check related to the issuance of a license to carry a concealed handgun.

In addition, the legislation states that the Director of the Division of Arkansas State Police “shall not consider a person’s status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016, Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 98, § 2, in determining whether an applicant or licensee is eligible to be issued a license to carry a concealed handgun”.

The full text of House Bill 1784 can be found by clicking here.

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