UPDATE: 8 p.m. ET
The Arkansas Senate is already working to make stadiums exempt from the law signed Wednesday.
The Senate voted 22-10 on a bill to exempt college sporting events from the concealed-carry law Thursday and the bill will now move to the Arkansas House of Representatives.
A bill signed into law by Arkansas’ governor on Wednesday makes it legal for licensed fans to bring concealed weapons into Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed an expanded concealed carry bill that increases the number of places within the state that Arkansas residents with a concealed-carry license can bring a concealed weapon. Under the law, people with a license who complete eight additional hours of training are allowed to bring guns to places where guns are currently banned. Like a state college, airport, stadium and the state’s Capitol building.
Rep. Greg Leding (D), who represents Fayetteville, where the University of Arkansas is located, called the new law a “dumb idea.” From Arkansas News:
State Rep. Greg Leding, D-Fayetteville, whose district includes the University of Arkansas’ flagship campus, said the bill signed Wednesday is “far worse” than the original version of HB 1249 because of, among other things, the provision allowing guns at athletic events.
“Sometimes people have a little bit to drink before they go to the game,” he said. “I just think it’s a really dumb idea to introduce loaded weapons into that situation.”
Trustees for the university had previously voted to keep concealed handguns off Arkansas’ campus. A spokesperson for the school said the school felt a decision regarding weapons was best left to the board of trustees and pointed to the trustees’ decisions to keep guns off campus.
Yahoo Sports has reached out to the Arkansas athletic department for comment. Hutchinson defended the decision to allow guns at places like Razorback Stadium by saying a “bad guy” could currently make his way into the stadium.
“A bad guy could get a gun into Razorback Stadium now,” Hutchinson said when announcing the law via Arkansas Online. “Under this current law, if you have got the enhanced training, then you would be able to go into that facility.”
We wonder why Hutchinson believes a “bad guy” is currently able to subvert Arkansas’ security protocols but a “good guy” — or anyone other than a “bad guy” — isn’t. Leding also said, via Arkansas Online, that he wasn’t aware of any conversations that would make sporting events exempt from the new law.
The law goes into effect Sept. 1 and the Arkansas State police are responsible for drafting the enhanced training protocols required by the law. The state police will get input from college police officials for the training.
More college football from Yahoo Sports:
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