The governor of Arkansas has had an apparent change of heart regarding a concealed-carry bill he signed into law Wednesday.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) made a law official that would allow Arkansas residents who undergo additional training to bring concealed handguns into many previously barred locations — including sporting events — in the state. After many objected to events like Arkansas Razorbacks football games being open to concealed weapons, Hutchinson said Thursday he’ll support a change to the law that exempts college sporting events from the law.
Following the law’s creation on Wednesday, the Arkansas Senate got to work and passed an amended bill that would prevent people from carrying concealed weapons into Arkansas football games (and other sporting events). While the measure has to pass the state house, Hutchinson said he supported the change.
Hutchinson said Thursday that “the unique environment of a teaching hospital makes it reasonable to exempt UAMS, and the other exception for college sporting events addresses the concerns expressed by many Arkansans.
“Because these appear to be reasonable exceptions, I will support these amendments,” the Republican governor said in a written statement.
His written statement on Thursday is in stark opposition to what he said on Wednesday while flanked by an official from the National Rifle Association at the announcement of the law.
“A bad guy could get a gun into Razorback Stadium now,” Hutchinson said Wednesday. “Under this current law, if you have got the enhanced training, then you would be able to go into that facility.”
The NRA said on Thursday it doesn’t support the amendment to exclude sporting events. The change also excludes the Arkansas State Hospital, and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
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