New Arkansas law will allow guns at sporting events

March 23, 2017 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A new law in Arkansas will allow fans with concealed carry permits to bring guns to sporting events, including those at the University of Arkansas.

Photo: Bobak Ha’Eri

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the bill into law on Wednesday, allowing concealed weapons into a number of public buildings, including statehouses, state colleges and some bars, according to The Associated Press. The law takes effect Sept. 1, but it’s possible guns would still be prohibited at some buildings and venues to allow law enforcement time to adjust to the policy.

Under the law, spectators at Reynolds Razorback Stadium and the Bud Walton Arena, where the University of Arkansas plays football and basketball respectively, would be allowed to bring their guns to games, provided they have a license to do so.

From The AP:

(The law) allows someone with a concealed handgun license to carry at the locations if they undergo up to eight hours of active-shooter training. Hutchinson chaired a National Rifle Association task force that called for trained, armed staff at schools after the 2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

“This bill, in my view, reflects the will of the General Assembly and is constitutional and will balance public safety and the Second Amendment,” Hutchinson said at a news conference after signing the measure.

University officials opposed the law, arguing that concealed carry decisions should be made by the schools. 

State Rep. Greg Leding called the law “horrifying.” People tend to get emotional and angry at games, he said, and putting loaded guns into their hands can exacerbate an altercation.

Guns are still banned at the state’s K-12 schools.

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