FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Less than 24 hours after passing HB1249 allowing concealed weapons in state facilities, Arkansas senators exempted sports venues from the law.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a law on Wednesday allowing weapons in various publicly funded buildings across Arkansas. Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium, where the University of Arkansas plays football, was included, as was basketball’s Bud Walton Arena and other venues at the university and universities across the state. Those who wishing to bring in such weapons would have to be licensed and receive training.
The exemption now heads to the House and if approved must be signed by the governor. It removes collegiate sports events from the law. Natural State senators passed the exemption by a vote of 22-10. The bill’s sponsor opposed the exemption.
The exemption comes after a vast local and national backlash. Some Razorbacks football players did not seem to care for the bill as first announced.
This seems safe… ??? https://t.co/U7tB2UnVIS
— Jared Cornelius (@officialjred) March 23, 2017
I'm curious as to why… ? https://t.co/Ynpo3lGUeL
— Kevin Richardson II (@K_Rich30) March 23, 2017
The House is expected to pass the exemption. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the state hospital also are exempt.
The University of Arkansas athletic department did not comment on either the law’s passage or the exemption.
Umbrellas and outside food and beverages remain banned. The SEC instituted a clear-bag policy for football game attendees in 2017.