No guns at the ol' ballgame: St. Louis police chief issues warning to baseball fans

Baseball fans move in to get a closer look at items left at the base of the Stan Musial statue following a short ceremony for Musial and his family outside of Busch Stadium in St. Louis on January 26, 2013. Former St. Louis Cardinals and National Baseball Hall of Fame member Stan Musial died at the age of 92 on January 19. UPI/Bill Greenblatt
Stan "the Man" Musial - statue above - was one kind of "hit man" for baseball's St. Louis Cardinals. On Monday, April 8, 2013, the city's police chief warned fans about another kind of hit man - the kind that carries a gun.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt via CBS St. Louis
(CBS) ST. LOUIS - It's the home opener Monday for baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, and the city's chief of police has a message for fans:Leave your guns at home, even if you have a concealed carry permit.

CBS St. Louis reported that Police Chief Sam Dotson said, "You can't take your gun into the ballpark, even if you have a concealed carry permit you can't take your gun into the ballpark. Don't even bring your gun down and leave it locked in your car," he said.

The chief says he is concerned about car break-ins during the game and guns getting in the hands of criminals.

"Unfortunately, there is a portion of the segment of the population that looks for people who leave their concealed carry in the car and then, in the second or third inning when people are enjoying the game, they go and break the window in the car and perhaps steal the gun," Dotson said, according to CBS St. Louis.

Dotson said police will be out with extra patrols to discourage car break-ins and parking lot attendants are reminded they have a responsibility to keep an eye on their parking lots and call police if they see anyone loitering around cars during the game.

"Unless you're engaged in a lifestyle that's going to put you at risk, you're not going to be the victim of violent crime going to a baseball game. You don't need to bring your conceal and carry, you don't need to bring your guns," Dotson said. "What I don't want to happen, and I've talked about it before, when officers are out on the street, I worry about them. I don't want them to encounter your legal gun that became illegal when it fell in the hands of a criminal."

Play ball!