SEC asks Arkansas to exempt sports from new gun law; bill to do that approved in committee soon after | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

SEC asks Arkansas to exempt sports from new gun law; bill to do that approved in committee soon after

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 3:46 PM

click to enlarge FOR GUN LAW CHANGES: Rep. Bob Ballinger and Sen. Jonathan Dismang.
  • FOR GUN LAW CHANGES: Rep. Bob Ballinger and Sen. Jonathan Dismang.

click to enlarge NRA LOBBYIST: Anthony Roulette opposed amendments to gun bill.
  • NRA LOBBYIST: Anthony Roulette opposed amendments to gun bill.
UPDATE: Shortly after the SEC voiced objections to guns at sporting events in Arkansas, the House Judiciary Committee took up a bill to ban them there and make other amendments to new legislation that expanded places where concealed weapons can be taken in Arkansas. The committee approved the amendments and sent the bill to the House floor.

Here's what occurred during the day:

The AP reported that the Southeastern Conference, from which millions flow into University of Arkansas coffers, had asked the state to exempt college sports events from a newly expanded gun law that allows concealed weapons on college campuses, in the Capitol, in courthouses, in bars and in many other places.

This is the aim of an amendment to the new law that had cleared the Senate but hadn't been acted on in the House yet. The NRA says it opposes this change. But reports AP:

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said Tuesday that the measure signed into law last week by Gov. Asa Hutchinson creates concerns for the conference and its member institutions.
Sports got prompt attention where the cries of every college board and hundreds if not thousands of students and parents against the bill did not.

Rep. Charlie Collins, who started the gun bill rolling, was interviewed on a sports talk show:


Here's more from that appearance.

Collins said he expects to see alignment on an amendment later Tuesday that would alleviate concerns about the bill when it comes to allowing concealed carry at athletic venues.

“My expectation is that it will be the kind of amendment that satiates this issue, that takes down the concern that somehow the NCAA is going to have some kind of negatives for Arkansas, because certainly no one intends for that to happen,” Collins said.

Collins said the legislature has no desire to hurt collegiate athletics in the state of Arkansas.
Students? Daycares? Bar patrons? High school football crowds? Parks?

 Collins soon after unveiled new amendments to the Judiciary Committee by Rep. Bob Ballinger for the Senate bill. He said he didn't fear some of the "sky is falling" predictions made by opponents of the bill. But he said the changes mean, "We can have confidence everything will move forward smoothly." It says, as to a ban on guns at sporting events, that colleges will define "sensitive areas." This same allowance will be given UAMS to define sensitive areas, rather than giving a blanket exemption to the entire campus. Daycares were added to the section prohibiting guns on K-12 campuses. The bill requires security plans for those who declare firearm sensitive areas where guns are prohibited.


The NRA testified against the amendment. Lobbyist Anthony Roulette said it found "a number of problems."  Firearm-sensitive areas defined in the bill are too broad, he said, and he had similar criticism of the exception for sporting events. If law-abiding citizens are going to be prohibited from having guns, other steps must be guaranteed to guard against non-law-abiding citizens. The definition of athletic events is also vague, he said. It migth include parking lots, which would move law backward, he said. He said he feared adjacent building and grounds could also be banned.

Other speakers included Jan Morgan, a pro-gun advocate who appears frequently on Fox News who said she couldn't believe that, of all places, Arkansas and Republican politicians were taking any steps to limit "gun rights."  Why? She was told the governor. She said she tried to confront the governor, but couldn't get past senior staff. She called opposition "politically correct, dirty games."


"You are not here to do the will of Asa Hutchinson," said Morgan, her voice rising. She said her daughter went to college in Texas, not her native Arkansas, because she wanted to be on a place where she could be protected by her concealed weapon. "We sholdn't be here discussing gun rights issues. This should be a no-brainer. .... You vote in favor of this amendment, I"m going to be your worst enemy."

Rep. Bob Ballinger and Sen. Jon Dismang spoke for the bill. They said they'd work to see that it wouldn't be abused as the NRA feared to spread gun-free zones. Ballinger, a staunch gun advocate, indicated he thought compromise was a better approach than simply fighting any changes to the law Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed last week.


Rep. Doug House brought up the issue of whether the legislature could even set rules for universities given the autonomy granted universities in Arkansas by Amendment 33.

In the end, the bill got a do-pass recommendation on a divided roll call vote. With the new amendments, if the bill passes the House, it will have to return to the Senate for concurrence.

Tags: , , , , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (16)

Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-16 of 16

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Where's the outrage?

    Am I the only person, apart from federal prosecutors, outraged about the criminal enterprise that inveigled itself into a privileged position as an Arkansas taxpayer-financed human services provider to the tune, today, of $43 million a year?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Where's the outrage?

    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017

Most Viewed

  • Proposed child holding site in Arkansas 5 miles from WWII Japanese-American internment camp

    One big difference between Rohwer and today: The parents kept at Rohwer in World War II weren't separated from their children.
  • LR woman sues Louisville police over failures in rape investigation

    Salisa Luster Harrison, who now lives in Little Rock, Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit in Louisville, Ky., alleging multiple failures by the Louisville police investigating a sexual assault of her more than 10 years ago.
  • Baby gorilla born at zoo

    The Little Rock Zoo has a happy announcement: The birth of a healthy baby gorilla. The baby, whose sex has not been determined, was born to Sekani, who came to the zoo in 2004 from Toronto; her baby is her third. The father of the baby is a silverback, Kivu, and he is being "very attentive" to his first child, the zoo reports. Kivu came to the zoo in 2016 from Santa Barbara.
  • All in the family: Ten relatives of top executives were on payroll at PFH, the nonprofit troubled by corruption scandals

    Preferred Family Healthcare, the Medicaid-enriched nonprofit with a vast network of service providers in Arkansas that gobbles up tens of millions of dollars in state funding annually, has been in the news frequently this year because of its connection to multiple federal corruption cases. According to the most recently available tax filings, in 2015 ten family members of top executive were on the payroll, drawing salaries from PFH — including relatives of all four of the executives who were put on leave in the wake of the scandals. Three of these family members were making more than $100,000.
  • Full day of events at Stifft Station Pop-up on June 23

    It's a day of celebration of one of my long-held dreams: that the stretch of Markham between Pine and Kavanaugh in Little Rock be turned into three lanes with a turning lane in the middle and wider sidewalks.

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation