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Singer won't sing anthem for Reno team because of gun ban

By: The Associated Press
April 13, 2018 Updated: April 13, 2018 at 8:38 am
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In this April 11, 2017 photo, fans walk outside Greater Nevada Field during last year's opening game for the Reno Aces minor league baseball team in Reno, Nev. A Nevada woman has declined an invitation to sign the national anthem at one of the Aces' games this summer because the team won't let her bring her gun. The woman said she wears the gun or keeps it in a purse because she doesn't feel safe walking at night in downtown Reno, where the stadium is located. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

RENO, Nev. — A Nevada woman has declined an invitation to sing the national anthem before a Reno Aces baseball game this summer because the minor league team won't let her bring her gun.

Alishia Wolcott told The Reno Gazette Journal that she received her concealed weapons permit earlier this year and planned to bring her 9mm for protection after being offered a chance to sing the anthem.

Wolcott said she wears the gun or keeps it in a purse because she doesn't feel safe walking at night in downtown Reno, where the stadium is located.

The team has always banned weapons but is now requiring everyone to be checked with metal detectors before entering the ballpark, which has been the Arizona Diamondbacks' AAA affiliate in the Pacific Coast League since 2009.

Wolcott and her husband intended to attend a game last Saturday, but decided to abandon their plans when they saw the metal detectors, opting not to return their weapons to their car.

She informed the team of her decision in a letter this week. "I will not sing our national anthem at a place that seeks to strip me of my Second Amendment rights," Wolcott wrote.

Reno Aces Baseball Club President Eric Edelstein defended the policy Thursday in an email to The Associated Press.

"The list of prohibited items at Greater Nevada Field has remained unchanged since our inception in 2009," he wrote. "We will always place fan safety as our top priority at our stadium."

Edelstein said every ticketed sports facility in Nevada and all Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer venues in the United States use metal detectors.

Wolcott said in her letter that the move was counterproductive to the goal of keeping fans safe.

"By taking away their right to self-protection, all you have done is made them more vulnerable to attack," she said. "You have fallen prey to the absurd idea that American citizens need only trust their government for protection. This is indeed a lie and a blatant disregard for our constitutional rights."

She said she had considered accepting the invitation to sing the anthem and use the opportunity to publicly condemn the search for weapons. "But I have too much respect for the national anthem and the time dedicated for it," she said.

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