Will the possibility of having several thousand handguns inside Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium make the environment safer for fans moving forward? That seems to be the thinking of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The state’s governor signed measure HB1249 into law Wednesday, making the above scenario a realistic possibility moving forward. If you are unfamiliar with the measure, here it is verbatim:
An act concerning the possession of a concealed handgun in a public university, public college, or community college building; concerning other privileges associated with an enhanced license to carry a concealed hangun; and for other purposes.
— Stacey Spivey (@KATVStacey) March 22, 2017
The measure won’t allow just anyone to have a concealed weapon, Arkansas residents will be required to complete eight hours of shooting training first. The law goes into effect Sept. 1, however, state police are being given the option to push back the start date to 2018.
According to Andrew Demillo of the Associated Press, an earlier draft of the bill would have limited the concealed firearms to people at least 25 years old and after 16 hours of shooting training. However, that draft reportedly did not get enough support.
Now a football fan base — and all fan bases can be included in some form — known for some poor behavior in recent years (a school professor swore profusely at the head coach and was arrested immediately after a bad loss to Alabama, a number of fans got into a huge brawl outside of War Memorial Stadium following an upset loss to Toledo, and former starting quarterback Brandon Allen’s truck was completely wrecked after it was burnt down) will have the ability to carry firearms to home games. Provided, of course, they pass the eight hours of training necessary to do so.
Follow Michael Wayne Bratton / SEC Mike on Twitter.