Senate overturns governor’s veto on gun sovereignty bill
It is now up to Arkansas House to consider rescinding the veto of a bill that would bar local police from enforcing federal gun laws in Arkansas. The Senate voted Monday 21-12 to overturn Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s veto on Senate Bill 298.
In a letter to lawmakers announcing his veto on Friday, the governor said the partnership between state and federal law enforcement is “essential” and a break that would endanger the safety of the Arkansans.
Hutchinson also said that because the bill would make current federal gun laws unenforceable at the state level, it would be “unclear” what impact it would have on ongoing criminal proceedings.
Introducing his notwithstanding motion, Senator Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch, said he was working on a separate bill to address some of the concerns raised by Hutchinson.
“I worked with [former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas] Cody Highland over the last few days in making changes to the bill with respect to some of the Governor’s Questions, and with regard to those in the State who would give them the opportunity to testify for the Federal Government, so that we make sure that some of these guys who are the meanest of the bad have been serving for a long, long time, ”Stubblefield said.
Stubblefield introduced the new bill, Senate Bill 717, on Monday evening, leaving questions about whether it can be passed before the legislature ends for a recess on Tuesday. Lawmakers will meet again in the fall to address the issue of redistribution.
Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jimmy Hickey R-Texarkana was among the senators against the removal of the veto. He claimed Stubblefield had broken an agreement between the two regarding the bill, where parts of the Stubblefield bill would be incorporated into a different bill, and said Stubblefield had agreed not to veto for exam.
“These are the 800 people that we tried and we all agree that since these people are on trial, that if we were to pass this law, it could allow one or the other case either, that the evidence isn’t presented and that sort of thing and that’s why you and I had this deal this morning, “Hickey said.
The veto waiver now passes through the House, where, if passed by a simple majority, it will become law.