A new legislation in the state of Washington could soon allow concealed carry permit holders to be armed inside privately-owned stadiums which reside on public.
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”.
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.
The law would also prevent “local governments” from prohibiting concealed carry permit holders to enter with their firearms. The text reads as follows
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 judgment while carrying a firearm. Others have pointed to the NFL’s list of restricted entry items which includes firearms and most carried bags.
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.