HOPE/TEXARKANA, Ark. -- The only college in the Texarkana region to offer concealed handgun carry courses is bringing the class back to its campus next month.
The University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana will hold a basic and enhanced concealed handgun carry course on the UA Hope campus this fall for the first time in about three years. The enhanced concealed carry license provides gun owners with the additional training needed to carry their weapons into some public buildings where weapons are prohibited.
Akili Moses Israel, director of continuing education, said the demand for the course is high.
"There have been several folks who have been calling us because we offered it in the past," she said. "There's been a demand for it even pre-COVID. This was the first opportunity we've been able to offer it again."
The instructor is Chuck Key, who has been an independent concealed handgun instructor since the 1990s. He said he taught the first class at UAHT about six years ago.
"They told me that was the most-requested class that they had, so they asked me to come teach it," he said.
Key said the course covers conceal and carry laws, as well as a lesson at a gun range. He said the enhanced shooting course is the same course the Arkansas State Police and Game and Fish use.
Arkansas has reciprocity agreements with 37 states and honors licenses or permits from every other state.
"I carry everywhere I go," Key said. "You just feel more safe. A lot of the people travel, and that's when they really want it – when they go out of state. And that's the main reason a lot of my students take it."
He said the several women have taken the course.
"My best students are always women, because when I tell them to do something and not to do something, they listen. Whereas most guys will say, 'I've been shooting all my life, and I don't need any instruction.' Well, why are you not hitting the target like your wife is?"
The basic concealed carry course will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. The enhanced course will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Both courses will begin at Hempstead Hall on the UA Hope campus and end at Hope's local shooting range.
The basic course cost is $100, and the enhanced course is $150. Students must be 21 years or older, have a valid driver's license, provide a personal handgun and ammunition, and have transportation to the shooting range. Spots are limited.
For more information or to register, call 870-722-8568 or email [email protected]