Do Concealed Guns Belong in Stadiums & Arenas?
As Opposing Views reported on Monday, a man was arrested at the Jets-Cowboys on Sunday game after smuggling a stun gun into the stadium and using it on several fans. This was a stun gun and not a real gun, but it begs the question -- do guns belong in stadiums?
In Ohio, at least, the answer is yes. On July 1, Gov. John Kasich signed a new law that allows people to carry concealed weapons into places where alcohol is served. That includes the state's sports stadiums and arenas.
The stadium aspect was of particular interest. The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Rep. Bill Patmon offered an amendment on behalf of Cleveland Browns Stadium that would exempt sports venues from the law.
"An open air arena is no place for a 9mm," he argued.
However, the Republican-controlled House rejected the amendment.
The law does allow business owners to ban concealed weapons on their premises if they choose. Reuters reported that the Cincinnati Bengals would continue to ban guns in their stadium. Most other teams will follow suit, reports the Associated Press.
"We don't think it's going to change anything that we do," Cleveland Indians spokesman Bob DiBiaso said.
The Brady Campaign agrees that it is a bad idea to allow guns in stadiums, writing on its website:
Allowing more people to carry concealed handguns in densely populated cities, on crowded subways, on buses and in sports stadiums, is a recipe for disaster.
Gun advocacy groups have not commented specifically about guns in sports venues. However the National Rifle Association lobbied hard for the Ohio law and has gone on record that gun ownership and the ability carry a gun virtually anywhere is a protected right under the constitution.
The NRA and most groups on both sides of the argument agree on one thing -- guns and alcohol do not mix. Alcohol is a big seller at stadiums and arenas. The Ohio law does ban people from drinking while carrying their gun. But if people want to drink anyway, they will. And since the weapon is concealed, there is no way for a vendor to know if they are carrying a gun and thus drinking illegally.