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Sports Talk Podcast: June 15, 2017

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Arkansas Rep. Collins: No desire to hurt Arkansas athletics with gun law (UPDATED)

SEC commissioner Sankey says league’s hope is for athletics exemption

By Bart Pohlman

UPDATE: An amendment to SB724, which itself amends Act 562 with regard to concealed carry, was passed by the Arkansas House judiciary committee Tuesday afternoon, and will now head to the House floor.

Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, said the new amendment creates a new classification called a “posted firearm sensitive area,” which would apply to state hospitals, UAMS and collegiate athletic events.

“The way that will work is, you present a security plan to the Arkansas State Police … to demonstrate that you’re going to create a safe environment,” Collins said. “If approved by the ASP, you will be allowed to prohibit enhanced concealed carry holders from carrying in that location for that event.”

For more of the updated information, here’s our follow-up interview with Collins:

Original story follows.

When it comes to Arkansas’ new gun law, Rep. Charlie Collins, R-Fayetteville, doesn’t expect the state legislature to do anything that would put the University of Arkansas and other state institutions in jeopardy of being penalized by athletic conferences or the NCAA, he said Tuesday on Sports Talk.

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.

“We’re taking all of these questions marks very seriously, and making sure that we don’t do anything that’s going to jeopardize Arkansas sports programs, which are very important to all of us,” he said.

In a statement to Sports Talk, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey voiced the league’s desire to see athletic venues exempted from the new law.

“Given the intense atmosphere surrounding athletic events, adding weapons increases safety concerns and could negatively impact the intercollegiate athletics program at the University of Arkansas in several ways, including scheduling, officiating, recruiting and attendance,” Sankey said in the statement.

“HB 1249 creates concerns for the Southeastern Conference and its member institutions. It remains our collective desire to provide a safe environment for student-athletes, coaches, officials and fans, and will continue to closely monitor the status of this legislation.”

To listen to the full interview with Rep. Collins, click below: