It’s a long shot, but it could expand the number of places law-abiding gun owners are permitted to carry a concealed firearm.
Washington State lawmakers recently introduced HB 1015, a bill that would prohibit public facilities districts, public stadium authorities, or any other local government entity from banning the possession of concealed firearms as long as the carrier holds a valid permit.
The bill’s language includes major sporting arenas like CenturyLink Field where the Seattle Seahawks and Seattle Sounders FC play, and Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners.
Republican State Representatives Matt Shea, David Taylor and Bob McCaslin are sponsoring the bill, and their proposal has already received some pushback.
Danny Westneat of the Seattle Times helpfully informed his readers that it’s “patently insane to fill stadiums with pumped-up, drinking, heavily-armed fanatics.”
Yet three Republican lawmakers have decided stadium safety would, in fact, be enhanced if the bare-chested guy next to you in face paint is also packing to defend you from ISIS.Oh well, think of the home-field advantage we’d have for the Seahawks if the 12s were all armed.
It’s that kind of condescending nonsense that got Trump elected, of course, but anti-gunners are sometimes a little slow on the uptake.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just left-wing columnists for the Seattle Times that don’t get it.
Major League Baseball told Forbes that their current policy – which prohibits the possession of firearms at stadiums – is the result of “a recent study of best security practices and MLB’s continuing work with the Department of Homeland Security to elevate and standardize initiatives across the game.”
Patrick Courtney, MLB’s chief communications executive, emphasized that the league doesn’t plan to change that policy any time soon: “Major League Baseball is committed to providing a safe environment at all our ballparks and believes that our current policy is the right one for all of our fans,” he said.
The NFL responded similarly last year when a police union asked the league to reconsider its ban on concealed weapons: “We concluded that public safety inside NFL stadiums on game days would be best-served by the carrying of firearms by on-duty officers specifically assigned to work the game as part of the comprehensive public safety plan for the event,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Fox News.
If Washington’s HB 1015 passes, however, league officials might not have a choice. Large public events like football and baseball games are prime targets for terrorist attacks, and in the wake of large mass murders more and more Americans are realizing that police and security forces can’t be everywhere at once.
Hopefully, the Washington legislature will realize that too and make the best decision for the safety of its residents and sports fans.