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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

GOP Lawmaker Defends Proposal To Allow Concealed Weapons In Stadiums

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File photo. Fans are prohibited from bringing guns inside Seattle's Centurylink Field.

As the Seattle Seahawks played the L.A. Rams Thursday night, a Washington state lawmaker defended his proposal to allow concealed pistols at stadium events.

Republican Matt Shea of Spokane Valley said existing Washington law is clear: bans on guns in public stadiums and convention centers do not apply to concealed pistol permit holders.

But the NFL and Major League Baseball don’t allow guns. Nor do CenturyLink and Safeco Fields in Seattle and the Spokane Arena. The argument is they’re private venues, even though they’re owned by public facilities districts.

Now Shea has introduced legislation that would require these venues to allow law abiding gun owners to bring in concealed pistols.

“The threat to America are jihadi terrorists and the fact of the matter is that stadiums and convention centers are one of the likely targets of terrorist attack,” Shea said.

The general manager of Spokane Arena,Matt Gipson, said a mishap with a weapon at an event would be “catastrophic.”

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."