The Arkansas House voted Thursday to gut the state’s recently adopted campus carry legislation following requests by SEC and Sun Belt Conference commissioners.
Both the SEC and Sun Belt conferences wanted changes made to the law so that college sports venues could be exempted. Act 562–an amendment to add to the exemptions–was put forward by state Rep. Bob Ballinger (R-Berryville). The amendment passed by a vote of 71-20.
On March 28 Bo Mattingly reported that SEC Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey voiced concern that the campus carry law “could negatively impact the intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Arkansas in several ways including scheduling, officiating, recruiting, and attendance.”
THV 11 reported that the Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson also weighed in on the new law:
During the last week I have followed closely the news articles regarding Arkansas House Bill 1249, and now also a potential amendment to what is now Act 562. Given that both the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas State University are members of the Sun Belt Conference, and as my colleague Greg Sankey of the Southeastern Conference has stated, I too support the…exemption…that would prevent firearms from being allowed inside publicly funded stadiums and arenas in the State of Arkansas.
In addition to exempting sporting venues, Ballinger’s amendment also exempts day cares, pre-K schools, and private property, whether said property has signs posted or not. In fact, Ballinger’s amendment allows private property owners to forgo signage and verbally advise a concealed carrier that he or she is not allowed to have a gun on the premises.
The Associated Press reports that Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) supports the amendment and hopes the Senate will support it as well.
The NRA opposes amending the campus carry law and warns that re-introducing gun-free zones risks a return to gun-free campuses.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.