LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas legislators face an interesting dilemma: Leave their guns at home or park their cars off the Capitol's 20-acre campus.
A law that prohibits weapons from most publicly owned buildings in the state - and their parking lots - is making a former Olympic shooter leave his guns at home when using his coveted spot adjacent to the Capitol.
Representative Randy Stewart, a member of the 1980 and 1984 Olympic teams, wants to see the law changed. He said he and some colleagues must choose between their prime parking spaces and keeping a gun in their locked cars and trucks. His bill, introduced Wednesday, would also exempt parking lots at colleges.
Stewart, a Kirby Democrat, is an instructor in concealed weapons classes. His bill would grant the exemption to all gun owners who possess a valid concealed weapons license, not just legislators.
Officials at the Capitol reviewed safety procedures after the death of Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney, who was shot to death in his office two blocks from the Capitol. State Capitol Police Chief Darrell Hedden declined to comment on Stewart's bill, and the secretary of state's office says it was still reviewing the bill and had no immediate comment.