Cleat Geeks

Minor League Gun Control

Weird promo nights are fairly common outside of Major League Baseball. Minor-league and independent-league clubs don’t have the star power needed to draw in fans, so they have to come up with ways to bring fans out to the ballpark.Battle-Creek-Bombers

With that said, some promotions are better than others. We’ll let you be the judge of the latest idea from the Battle Creek Bombers. The Bombers are part of the Northwoods League, which is best described as a collegiate summer league. They are not affiliated with any major-league club.

On June 24, the Bombers hosted “Second Amendment Education Night.” The event was sponsored by local gun dealer Freedom Firearms.

Freedom Firearms co-owner Joel Fulton said the business will have several different displays throughout C.O. Brown Stadium, including one for the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe program. The program, Fulton said, aims for gun accident prevention by educating children what to do if they encounter a gun.

Fulton said many people are averse to guns because of “a lack of education and a lack of knowledge” on the subject.

“We hope our local businesses will support our local ball clubs,” Fulton said. “Why it becomes so controversial when I do it, I don’t know. It’s not like I run a whorehouse or am selling drugs. I’m selling a product protected by the Constitution. I want my products used safely and I don’t want tragedies or accidents or accidental discharges (to occur).”

“It’s a celebration of responsible gun ownership and learning, if you do have a firearm, how to do it safely,” said Bombers General Manager Tony Lovieno.

Bombers General Manager Tony Iovieno said plans for the event have been in the works since at least October as a way to promote gun safety and to showcase “a strong business in the community who wants to support the team in a unique way.” With gun violence at the forefront of political consciousness in the United States, Iovieno said he hopes fans will take away knowledge of Constitutional and Michigan law on guns as well information about firearms safety education.

“Who am I to take an odd political stance and say we can’t do that?” Iovieno said. “I don’t think that’s the role I have or what I should be doing. But I like that this is sparking a conversation because it’s a conversation that should be had.”

BattleCreekBombers2Freedom Firearms co-owner Jim Fulton explained more about the event.

“There’s going to be some booths underneath the bleachers set up showcasing the education portion,” said Freedom Firearms co-owner Joel Fulton.  “We’re going to have some gun safe stuff for the kids there, basic safety stuff for kids so they know how to be safe around firearms.”

The Bombers do not plan to take a political stance on the issue, though Iovieno said mass shootings in the country have been “horrific.”

It’s important to note a few things here. First off, this event has been in the works for months. It is not something that was thrown together to try and capitalize on current events. Second, while it will be an open carry event, anyone caught drinking while carrying will be asked to leave the game. Not only will guns will not be sold at the game, but as a free promotion, the Bombers gave away free triger locks to those entering the gates.


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