MLB bans guns from clubhouses

Major League Baseball has a new message for players and

employees this spring training: Keep guns, long knives and

explosives out of the clubhouse.

Signs have been placed in spring training locker rooms stating

“individuals are prohibited from possessing deadly weapons while

performing any services for MLB.” The rules apply to employees of

the commissioner’s office, other central baseball businesses and to

teams, including players.

A baseball official said MLB developed the rules last year after

former NFL star Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself, which

led to a two-year prison sentence. The official spoke on condition

of anonymity because comments weren’t authorized.

Guns became a controversy in the NBA this season, when

Washington guard Gilbert Arenas was suspended indefinitely without

pay by commissioner David Stern. Arenas brought guns to the Verizon

Center; the NBA labor contract bans weapons at league

facilities.

New baseball players’ association head Michael Weiner said the

rules were put in place last season but the signs were not posted

until now.

“The commissioner’s office negotiated the policy with the

union, as it applies to players,” he said. “The content of the

notice itself was not agreed to by the union.”

Titled “Major League Baseball’s Weapon-Free Workplace Policy,”

it says MLB “shall prohibit the possession or use of deadly

weapons in any facility or venue owned, operated, or controlled by

it.” Included are “firearms, explosives, daggers, metal knuckles,

switchblade knives, and knives having blades exceeding 5

inches.”

Security and law enforcement are excluded, and possession in

parking lots is allowed if protected by local laws. Major League

Baseball said it is allowed to grant exceptions.

AP freelance writer Mark Didtler in Tampa, Fla., contributed to

this report.