Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) signed campus carry into law on March 22, and on March 28, SEC Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement asking for an exemption so that law-abiding students will not be armed for self-defense at NCAA sporting events in the state.
Sankey’s request comes as Arkansas state Representative Bob Ballinger (R-Berryville) is pushing an amendment that will gut the campus law, putting in place numerous exemptions including exceptions for sporting events at the university.
As signed, the campus carry law creates an enhanced concealed carry permit, which law-abiding citizens have to undergo extra training to acquire. Once they have the enhanced permit, the NRA-ILA reports they can carry guns for self-defense on college and university campuses, “K-12 schools,” “any church or other place of worship,” “inside the passenger terminal of any airport,” “any place where a parade or demonstration requiring a permit is being held, and the licensee is a participant in the parade or demonstration,” “any meeting of the General Assembly or a committee of the General Assembly,” “any state office,” and numerous other places previously listed as “gun-free zones.”
USA Today Sports immediately responded to the new law by suggesting that NCCA teams “should boycott” Arkansas over students’ ability to carry guns for self-defense. This was followed Representative Ballinger’s amendment, which will gut the campus carry law if passed.
Now it is SEC Commissioner Sankey’s turn, and he has released a statement calling for the legislature to exempt sporting events from the law. Bo Mattingly, host of Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly, tweeted Sankey’s statement:
Statement from SEC commissioner Greg Sankey concerning Arkansas' gun law (HB 1249): pic.twitter.com/WZqPQkSBwT
— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) March 28, 2017
NRA-ILA warns that the language in Ballinger’s amendment is “broad,” which poses problems for law-abiding Arkansans:
[Ballinger’s amendment] creates additional problems for law-abiding gun owners in Arkansas by allowing any “collegiate athletic event,” to simply designate “firearm-sensitive areas” to prohibit carry. This language is so broad, that it may encompass an entire campus and creates a trap to ensnare law-abiding gun owners, who are simply trying to provide for their own personal safety.
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.