Policies prohibiting fans from bringing firearms into athletic venues may be creating a safer environment inside the venue but also sparking new issues outside -- gun-carrying patrons worried about their safety walking unarmed from the parking lot, a hotspot for violence and conflict between fans.
Army veteran Justin Hulsey believes he has the answer to gun restrictions in St. Louis. Hulsey wants to establish armored trucks outside of sports venues where people with concealed-carry permits can check in their firearms. He believes this would allow individuals to remain armed on the walk to and from their cars while accommodating rules prohibiting firearms.
According to St. Louis Post - Dispatch, Hulsey initially formed a business concept called Mobile Safe Storage where people could store their electronics. Now he’s focused on guns.
Hulsey has met with several city officials. He is also working with several of his former-military peers to bring this project to life. The armored vans would be staffed by veterans. “These are guys with logistics experience who know how to distribute hundreds of weapons in 30 minutes,” Hulsey says. “We want to know how can we, as prior military, make St. Louis safer.”
Reactions to the idea are lukewarm. St. Louis mayor Francis Slay currently has made no comment on the idea, while NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy has stated, “We do not want weapons near NFL stadiums.”
Police chief sam Dotson has issued a statement saying, “I have not seen a plan nor have I met with anyone to discuss the idea of a gun check van, therefore, I don’t have enough information to assess whether or not this is something I would support." He went on to say, “However, as I’ve said many times before, more guns are never the answer. We need to get to the root of the problem by focusing on outcomes in the court system that keep our community safe.”
Hulsey said he is enlisting the advice current and retired police officers. This includes former St. Louis County police chief Tim Fitch. Reacting to the shooting of a man outside of Busch Stadium in September, Fitch took to Twitter to suggest the idea of a “gun truck” parked outside Busch Stadium.
"If this takes off in St. Louis, I could see it expanding to other cities," Fitch says. "I can't find anybody else doing something like this, but St. Louis isn't the only downtown that has a crime issues. I have to think there’s a need out there."
What do you think? Would gun-lockup vans make sporting events safer?
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