LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A House panel has advanced legislation that would allow concealed handguns in churches in Arkansas.

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would leave it up to churches and other houses of worship to decide whether to allow concealed handguns. The bill by Republican Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest would also allow churches to determine who may carry concealed weapons. The measure passed on a voice vote.

Of the 49 states that allow concealed handguns, Arkansas is among 10 that specifically prohibit them in churches. The Senate earlier this week approved King's bill.

Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe has indicated he'll likely sign the legislation into law if it reaches his desk.