What the NRA calls its list of "National Organizations With Anti-Gun Policies" has been getting a lot of play over the past few days, and the Kansas City Star noted Tuesday that several Missouri businesses were on the list — including the Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams. (Oh, and Hallmark cards. Send a card, not a bullet.)
The list does not include the other major league teams in the state, the St. Louis Cardinals or St. Louis Blues. The NRA's list says it was published first in September 2012, but with the amount of discussion regarding gun-related violence going on, it was only a matter of time until it got attention.
So, what put the Royals, Chiefs and Rams in the NRA's, uh, crosshairs? After a series of failures, the state of Missouri in 2003 passed a law that allows individuals to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The Royals, Chiefs and Rams — quite understandably — didn't want to encourage fans to pack heat at ballgames.
Alcohol- and bravado-fueled fights in the grandstands happen often enough (sadly) that clubs wisely don't want to add guns to the mix. Front-line ballpark security don't carry guns. Only when on-duty cops are called do you see firearms holstered. Imagine the panic alone once some fan whips out a gun he sneaked into the park, never mind if some kind of shootout in the bleachers breaks out. Leave it to security, please, and their tasers. If tasers.
It's not clear in what form the teams protested — petitions, letters to the editor, donations to state legislators — but the Royals, Chiefs and Rams made known their opposition to conceal-carry in Missouri, at least when it came to sports stadiums. This was on the record as early as 1999, when The Star published an editorial against a conceal-carry law being considered at the time.
And the K.C. sports teams got what they wanted; the law doesn't apply to stadiums with a capacity over 5,000. You still can't bring a gun to a Royals game, thank goodness. And those sneaky Cardinals and Blues get the same benefit without making the NRA's bogeyman list.
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