HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The Garland County Quorum Court has voted in favor of allowing county employees with concealed carry permits to bring firearms to work.

The Quorum Court repeatedly deflected motions to give the plan more consideration before voting 9-3 in favor of it Monday night, according to the Sentinel-Record ( ). Justices of the Peace Denise Marion, Dave Reagan and Ellen Varhalla voted against the ordinance.

Arkansas county government code requires an ordinance to be read on three separate days before it’s adopted, unless two-thirds of the quorum court agrees to suspend the rule.

Marion presented two motions to stop it from being read a second and third time, and Reagan presented a motion to table the ordinance. All three motions failed.

Marion and Reagan challenged the majority’s stance that the ordinance is about safety.

“What message are we sending citizens who conduct business at county offices when they’re served by an armed clerk or elected official?” Reagan said. “We are a modern, civilized society, not the lawless Wild West of the 1800s.”

Marion proposed two amendments that would have required permitted employees to receive live fire training and civilian response training. Both amendments failed to pass.

Rep. Mickey Gates was one of 74 House members to vote for the state act that allows for the plan.

“All it takes is a bad guy with a gun to get it right once,” Gates told the quorum. “How many people get mad because they feel like government has done them wrong, and they’re not reasonable and they’re not rational? All it takes is one. I think people ought to be able to defend themselves.”

Information from: The Sentinel-Record,

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