For Immediate Release

March 25, 1999

For more information contact:

Amy Pennington or Brett Feintstein

(888) 865-2729

"PRO SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS HAVE BEEN MISLED BY SSWC"

Statement of Fred Myers, Jr., Campaign Manager

I am disappointed to learn that Missouri's professional sports teams along with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the National Football League Players Association have chosen to join with the Safe Schools and Workplaces Committee in opposition to Proposition B.

My disappointment does not stem form the fact that the organizations have decided to oppose us, but rather, it appears that these pro sports organizations have been misled by SSWC.

Here are the facts. While sports stadiums are not explicitly listed as sites where law-abiding permit holders are banned from carrying a firearms, Proposition B clearly states that any business may post signs prohibiting firearms. This posting is legally binding and violation of this posting will be cause for punishment, which can include revoking a permit.

Right now, both Missouri baseball teams are in Spring training in Florida, a state that has had a right to carry law that is far less strict than Proposition B is. No team has, to our knowledge, had any problem in their spring training complexes with individuals who have a legal permit to carry.

In addition, every professional sport team plays at least some part of its schedule in a right to carry state. None of these states have experienced any problems in their sports venues with individuals who have a legal permit to carry. The horror stories that those opposed to right to carry talk about just never materialize.

Look at the experiences of professional and collegiate sports venues in Washington State and Indiana. Neither state has a stadium prohibition on their books and neither of them have had a problem with legal permit holders. Neither state's major sports venues have metal detectors currently.

In addition, I am disappointed to see that these pro sports organizations have so little faith in their law-abiding fans.

The real problem is with criminals who could never qualify for a permit under Proposition B. Right now, these organizations do not have special security measures in place to deal with these thugs. And if the possibility of a criminal carrying a gun into a sport facility has not caused there to be a need for special security measures like metal detectors, then what is there to fear from decent law-abiding Missourians who want to protect themselves from violent crime?

And that is really the point. Only law-abiding Missourians are going to be able to stand up to the rigorous background checks and training requirements of Proposition B. Those same law-abiding citizens will continue to respect the law after they receive their permits. They will abide by a posted prohibition in a stadium, just as they would in any other establishment.

The decent laws-abiding citizens of Missouri have a right to self-protection that has been denied them for too long. Many of these law-abiding citizens are sports fans. They will respect whatever policy each organization chooses to set for its facility. However, they will not respect those organizations for trying to keep their right to self-protection from them.

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