After being offered an opportunity to sing the national anthem before a Nevada minor league baseball game, a woman has decided to turn it down after learning that she can’t bring her gun to the stadium.
Alishia Wolcott was picked by the Reno Aces to sing after she submitted an audition tape in March, she told Fox News.
But after she and her husband went to the stadium on Saturday to attend a game as spectators, they saw security included metal detector wands, which she claimed was a new measure this year.
"Upon walking up to the stadium we saw the normal bag checks, and past that were men stopping guests and using the wand metal detectors before entering the game, which was an action just implemented this baseball season," Wolcott said.
Wolcott, who has a Glock 43, 9mm pistol and obtained a concealed weapons permit in 2018, told the Reno Gazette Journal that she wanted to carry the weapon to games to protect herself.
“The primary reason I am a gun owner is because I live in a country where the basis of my liberty and freedom is a God-given right to protect myself from anyone,” she told Fox News. “And I desire to live in such a way that I protect this right all the time, anywhere I go. To put it simply, I want the option to be able to carry my gun. That is the beauty of this liberty, I get the choice whether or not I want to protect myself at any time or place.”
In a statement to Fox News, Reno Aces president Eric Edelstein said the organization “will always place fan safety as our top priority at our stadium.”
"We have joined every other ticketed sports facility in Reno, as well as every Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer venue in the United States, in the use of metal detection,” he continued. “The list of prohibited items at Greater Nevada Field has remained unchanged since our inception in 2009."
Wolcott said she “was extremely excited” when offered the chance to sing, something she grew up doing, and said she considered it an honor to perform the anthem. “With all of that, it was extremely difficult for me to make the decision to turn it down,” she said.
She said she could’ve chosen to not bring her gun to the game with her, “but it wouldn’t have been because I had the option,” she explained. “It would have been forced. And that’s the problem, they are taking away my freedom to choose whether or not to protect myself.”
She decided to inform the organization through a letter, she said, in which she wrote, “I WILL NOT sing our national anthem at a place that seeks to strip me of my second amendment rights, nor will I be attending any future events at the Ace’s ballpark as long as this is taking place.”
She told the organization about how she’d been a longtime supporter of the team and went to games every year. But after spotting the metal detectors, she said she and her husband had a choice to make.
“My husband and I took a long time to consider our options at Saturday’s game: Do we simply place our ‘protection’ elsewhere and walk freely into the game– thereby giving up and giving in to this deterioration of our rights?” the letter said. “Or, do we walk away from something we both love, and take a stand against this movement; which has good pure motives, but makes tyranny even more possible? As I am sure you are well aware–we walked away.”
She added that she considered sharing her opinion on the matter at the game in “a sort of Colin Kaepernick style” but opted not to, saying she has “too much respect for the national anthem and the time dedicated for it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.