Mass shootings usher in new era of security at ballparks

We now can see the next step beyond the NFL’s insistence that — for security reasons — people leave purses at home and carry their necessities in clear bags: it’s metal detectors.

The Oakland A’s announced today that starting Thursday against the Twins, all fans will be required to pass through metal detectors to get into ballgames, removing keys and change from pockets first.

The news release reads:

Similar to airport security, fans will have their bags searched and will need to empty pockets of keys, cell phones and other items before walking through a metal detector. The A’s have not changed any of their current policies on carry-in items, as referenced in the “A-Z Guide” on the A’s web site, However, it is suggested that fans minimize the amount of items they bring to the ballpark.

This new procedure will continue through any potential 2013 post-season games, and for all future regular season games.

The team says fans should get to the park early.

Some sports franchises — the Timberwolves are one — started using “wands” to detect weapons last season, a directive from the league after a mass shooting.