By Kody Fairfield
A new proposal to amend the Revised Code of Washington could soon allow concealed carry permit holders to be armed inside privately-owned stadiums which reside on public land, according to a report from CBS Sports.
Currently in Washington, it is not illegal to carry a concealed firearm with proper permits onto privately-controlled, publicly-owned property. However, under present state law, those private companies which control the public land can prohibit people from entering the premises while in possession of certain items, including a licensed firearm.
House Bill 105, a bill proposed by three Republicans in the Washington state House of Representatives, would take away the private company’s ability to “prohibit persons with a valid concealed pistol license from carrying a concealed pistol in any facility or on any grounds of a facility,” according to CBS Sports.
This new law would affect major stadiums such as Safeco Field (home of the MLB’s Seattle Mariners), and CenturyLink Field (home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks), as well as all other fields which are privately controlled but located on public land.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2.
A new section is added to chapter 36.102 RCW to read as follows:
(1) A public stadium authority may not prohibit persons with a valid concealed pistol license from carrying a concealed pistol in any facility or on any grounds of a facility that is owned, operated, managed, administered, controlled, or maintained by the public stadium authority, or leased or rented to a private or public entity by the public stadium authority.
(2) A private entity that operates, manages, administers, controls, maintains, or leases or rents a facility from a public stadium authority may not prohibit persons with a valid concealed pistol license from carrying a concealed pistol in the facility or on the grounds of the facility.
The law would also prevent “local governments” from prohibiting concealed carry permit holders to enter with their firearms, says the CBS Sports report.
A local governmental entity may not, whether by law, ordinance, regulation, rule, policy, or contractual agreement, prohibit persons with a valid concealed pistol license from carrying a concealed pistol in any stadium, convention center, arena, or similar facility, or on the grounds of any such facility, that is owned, operated, managed, administered, controlled, or maintained by the local governmental entity, or leased or rented to a private or public entity by the local governmental entity.
As expected, this proposal doesn’t come without controversy. Many critics are worried about the consumption of alcohol inside stadiums being a high risk factor, which could impair judgement while carrying a firearm. Others have pointed to the NFL’s list of restricted entry items which includes firearms and most carried bags.
The league doesn’t allow most bags in games, requiring fans to utilize clear plastic bags to bring items into games. It would be a stunning turn if the league suddenly allowed people to bring firearms into the stadium. (CBS Sports)
With the NFL’s already apparent stance on firearms and their fearlessness in getting involved in the political sphere, this bill seems to have a large uphill battle to overcome.