LITTLE ROCK — A Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge has ruled that attorneys are ‘officers of the court’ and are allowed to carry a handgun in any courthouse of the state of Arkansas.

The court case stemmed from a local attorney, Chris P. Corbitt, who was denied by a security guard when he asked if he could enter the Pulaski County Circuit Courthouse with a firearm.

In Corbitt’s complaint he references Arkansas Code 5-73-122(b): “However, a law enforcement officer, either on-duty or off-duty, officer of the court, bailiff, or other person authorized by the court is permitted to possess a handgun in the courtroom of any court or a courthouse of this state.”

Over 2 years, Corbitt and other plaintiffs, Robert Steinbuch and Ben Motal, involved in the original case filed multiple amended complaints regarding not being permitted to carry handguns in the Pulaski County District Court, Juvenile Justice Complex, and Pulaski County Courthouse.

In an opinion from the Arkansas Supreme Court on April 18, 2024, they agreed in part that attorneys are allowed to bring guns into courthouses.

On May 17, 2024, Judge Karen D. Whatley of the Sixth Judicial Circuit issued an order agreeing with the Supreme Court ruling.