|Lucas Oil Stadium|
But I digress.. This article is about the law. Bill Dowden, who is not an attorney, has a legal position that is based on the ticket, as a contract, overriding the law. Contrary to what he apparently believes, states certainly can pass laws that override private contracts. Remember a year or so ago when the legislature passed a law giving gunowners the right to keep a gun locked in their car when on an employer's property? That law overrides employee rules and a gun prohibition that might be in an employer-employee contracts. Unlike the national government, state governments have sweeping authority to regulate private business relationships and give people additional rights not mandated by any constitution.
Whether or not SB 292 would be interpreted to allow contractual exceptions is open to debate. However, as Worden notes, the bill already contains explicit exceptions:
"(1) employers can restrict gun possession for their employees acting within the scope of their duties; (2) courtrooms can be gun free; (3) public hospitals can be gun-free, as long as they have secure correctional health units staffed 24-hours a day by law enforcement; and (4) a subdivision can ban the “intentional display of a firearm at a public meeting.”The fact that the authors of the bill have included a list of exceptions, and tickets to sporting events with gun prohibitions included is not one of those exceptions, would lead one to believe that if this case were litigated, a court would not carve out the exception Dowden suggests.
I am not really afraid of licensed gun owners acting irresponsibly and turning a professional sporting event into a gun fight. But the legal effect of the law at least should be represented accurately. If they are saying SB 292 would not override a contractual relationship created by a patron buying a ticket to a sporting event, well that is probably not correct.