State Leaders Look To Ban Violent Fans

Violent Fans Could Be Banned From Sporting Events

Imagine Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers fans watching a football game in relative peace. It could happen if California State legislators have their way. A proposed bill would create a ban list that would prohibit violent fans from attending events.

According to the Sacramento Bee, the plan is essentially a restraining order. The offending fan's name and picture would be sent to arenas, ticket vendors, local police agencies and posted on the internet.   Penalties for violating the ban could include a five-year ban for the first offense and can reach as high as 25 years for repeat offenders.

If the fan sneaks into sporting events by using relatives or friends to buy tickets, and then causes a commotion, they will face a one-year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine. The bill would only cover serious felonies like robbery to assault with a deadly weapon. Opponents of the bill are concerned over the $10,000 teams need to create a ban list and the subsequent reward fund for witnesses.

If passed, California would become the first state in the country to adopt a tough stance on violent fans. Ban lists are currently being used by overseas countries. The United Kingdom and Italy have similar measures banning hooligans at football (soccer) matches.

The bill's author, democratic assemblyman Mike Gatto of Los Angeles, says the bill's designed to prevent another Bryan Stow tragedy. Stow, who is a Giants fan, was beaten outside Dodger Stadium last year. He is slowly recovering from the devastating attack. Meanwhile two suspects have been charged and will appear in court.

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