This topic comes up because a few days ago I was on my way to a meeting and suddenly my vehicle just stopped at an intersection in the middle of noon traffic. The intersection rests right in front of my local University’s library; luckily it was a three way with a light.
As soon as I realized I couldn’t move my vehicle out of traffic, I called the University PD (since they have a good response time, were the closest, and had jurisdiction). Then I called a wrecker to take my vehicle to my mechanic.
By now, I’m sure you’re wondering, “Alright, Hannah. What does this have to do with concealed carry?”
Well, I knew the PD would send an officer, so I immediately put my CCW in my bag (because my vehicle would be leaving my possession, and the University campus, soon) and then got all my information out. Both of my licenses, my vehicle registration and insurance.
When the officer arrived, I got out of my vehicle and the first thing out of my mouth was, “Here, I just wanted to show you this and let you know my weapon is in my vehicle.” I then handed her my CCL.
If I’m being honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I should do, except that no matter what, I was going to give the officer my CCL. It turned out not being a big deal. The officer replied with “That’s alright,” and she didn’t need me to do anything else.
When the wrecker arrived, I stood off the University campus on the street. After my vehicle was loaded I thanked the officer and the wrecker took me to my mechanic.
Now, just to be clear, there are some concealed carry laws I just want to remind everyone. Some Universities do not allow concealed carry on their campuses, however if you have a CCL, then you are permitted to leave your CCW (I suggest out of sight, such as in the glove box, under a seat, etc.) in your locked vehicle; § 5-73-306:
(13) (A) A school, college, community college, or university campus building or event.
(B) However, subdivision (14)(A) of this section does not apply to:
(v) A publicly owned and maintained parking lot of a college, community college, or university if the licensee is carrying a concealed handgun in his or her motor vehicle or has left the concealed handgun in his or her locked and unattended motor vehicle;
(This is why I always beat the “Check your laws” drum. The above is from the Arkansas section of the US Handgun Laws. Here’s a link to the document. Handgunlaws.us updates all their pdfs regularly.)
I’ve also checked the A.C.A § 5-73-322 which describes the new laws for Universities. They state:
(f) This section does not affect a licensee’s ability to store a concealed handgun in his or her vehicle under § 5-73-306(13)(B)(v).
(Here’s a link and citation for them: A.C.A. § 5-73-322 (Lexis Advance through all laws of the 2017 Regular Session and 2017 First Extraordinary Session, including changes and corrections by the Arkansas Code Revision Commission) )
Another thing to consider is that my situation was a little different than getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere. If that happens and you don’t have a spare or another means of fixing your tire. I advise keeping your CCW on your person and calling either someone to pick you up or a wrecker.
I’m glad that my difficult experience breaking down on a University campus turned out well. My advise for any other kind of situation, as I realize my case is a bit specific, is to keep your situational awareness up, follow your states’ laws, and if law enforcement gets involved, comply and remain respectful even if you’re stressed.
Have you had an experience similar to mine? Tell me about it the comments.
Hannah Staton holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith where she also is a Writing Tutor. She was issued her Concealed Carry License in 2016, but has grown up around firearms her whole life. She is a Contributing Editor and Copy Writer for Clinger Holsters. She is an artist, cigar enthusiast, poet, and an avid shooter. She resides in Van Buren, Arkansas with her dog, Sunday and spends as much of her free time either with her family or making art. You can find her on Instagram @hr.staton or reach her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org