SEC schools slam bill allowing concealed carry into games

JACKSON, MS (WMC) - Saturdays in the fall in Mississippi mean football to many people.

Now, a new bill could soon change the fan experience.

If passed, a bill proposed by Mississippi Republican Rep. Andy Gipson would allow people with special concealed carry permits to sue to bring their guns into public places like state-run university sporting events.

Ole Miss Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter is dead-set against it. He said in a statement saying, "It would put our campus community, law enforcement and first responders at great risk by allowing weapons in sensitive places like classrooms, hospitals, clinics and athletic performance venues."

SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey fears the measure would stop teams and fans from traveling to the Magnolia State for games.

"People are crazy these days," said Russell Cangelosi, who opposes the bill. "Someone makes them angry and the next thing you know they're pulling out this gun they have for self-protecting and use it as a weapon against someone else."

Rep. Gipson said his bill does not change Mississippi's concealed carry law and said he's protecting the Second Amendment.

In a Facebook post, he wrote "Yesterday an SEC football commissioner and many of our state-funded colleges and universities unilaterally declared that none of this should matter, and that they should be allowed to continue violating the enhanced carry law. Oh well."

"People have the right to bear arms and I think that for our own protection be able to do that," said Sel Orndorff, who supports the bill. "I don't think self-protection should be a privilege. I don't see any issue with it at all."

The bill passed the House and now heads to the Senate.

Arkansas dealt with a similar controversy when it passed similar legislation last year.

However, the final version of the bill exempted college sports venues from the list of places concealed guns were allowed.

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