Dr. Brad Baine and Dean Phillip Dickson look on as Dr. Martin Eggensperger signs 2 Federal Firearms Licenses
POCAHONTAS, AR Aug. 18 – Black River Technical College has received a two federal firearms licenses for its gunsmithing program. The licenses are required for the program. It’s the first and only gunsmithing program in Arkansas, which supports Governor Asa Hutchinson’s initiative to expand industry in Arkansas, and is 1 of 7 college-based programs in the United States.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm (ATF) has licensed BRTC to be a firearms manufacturer and firearms dealer. The manufacturer license is required for the college to build and work on firearms in the gunsmithing program. This license also allows the gunsmithing program to perform firearm research and development for industry in the future.
The firearms dealer license is required for BRTC to log firearms in and out of the firearms log which keeps track of all firearms on campus. In some cases, firearms worked on by the gunsmithing program will be from outside individuals, so this tracking is required by federal law. In addition, this license is required for the college to purchase guns and parts required for gunsmithing curriculum. It also allows the college to receive donations of firearms, parts, and equipment for the program.
Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Brad Baine, said acquiring these licenses took a considerable amount of time and effort. “Thanks to our excellent and long-standing relationship between the ATF, Department of Defense, and our Law Enforcement Training Academy,” said Dean of Business and Technical Programs Phillip Dickson, “the groundwork was already set for BRTC to acquire these licenses.”
The gunsmithing program will begin in Pocahontas because of the strong collaboration between it and BRTC’s Law Enforcement Training Academy and the need for intense security and safety measures. Some pre-requisites and machine tool or welding courses may be taken in Paragould. However, the program has and will continue to establish partnerships with local, regional, and state industries.
“We at BRTC appreciate the Arkansas Division of Higher Education Coordinator Board’s confidence in us as we implement this program,” said Dr. Martin Eggensperger, BRTC president. “A program of this type requires a tremendous amount of safety and security protocol and awareness. Because of our Law Enforcement Training Academy, we are excited to be the first and only gunsmithing program in Arkansas and 1 of 7 college-based programs in the United States.”
For more information about BRTC’s gunsmithing program or to enroll, contact Phillip Dickson at (870) 248-4125 or visit the BRTC’s Gunsmithing page.