Woman Banned From Theme Park For Wearing T-Shirt With Word "Handguns' On It

A woman with annual passes to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia was up for a trip to the theme park, but she had a little problem getting through the gate that particular day. The woman says that the guards denied her entrance until she changed her clothes.

She can't figure out why what she was wearing was such a problem.

Rachel Holley, a 24-year-old from Virginia Beach, wasn't wearing a skimpy outfit. Her blouse wasn't low-cut or see-through in fact, it was a simple black t-shirt.

It didn't have any obscene words or images, but the one word it did have on it the theme park employees dubbed 'inappropriate'.

The word was 'Handguns'. There was an emblem on the front with 'Handguns' in small print, and the word was written in larger font across the back of the shirt. There was also a screenshot from 'The Rugrats', a children's cartoon, on the back of the shirt.

The security guards at Busch Gardens would not let Holley in because they said 'Handgun' was an inappropriate word.

Perhaps they were unaware of the fact that 'Handguns' is the name of a pop-punk band from Pennsylvania, and the shirt was their merchandise. However, the mere word is potentially so offensive that they wouldn't let Holley into the park with it. She even offered to turn her shirt inside-out, but they weren't okay with that option.

"I felt like a criminal," said Holley to CBS 6 News. "[I was told] if a kid were to see this shirt, they might think that guns are OK."

Holley was told she could come back to the park after she changed into something less shocking. The Busch Gardens dress code online reads, "In keeping with the family image of Busch Gardens®, guests must wear appropriate clothing while in the park. Shirts, shoes, and pants must be worn at all times. Clothing with suggestive or explicit language or insulting statements is not allowed. Busch Gardens reserves the right to refuse admission or ask anyone to leave who is not in compliance with these rules."

The thrill ride lover went to a nearby store and purchased a new shirt.

When Holley went into the park, she had a new sense of awareness about her surroundings. At that point, she noticed that the park seemed to have no real problem with guns in other ways.

"I found it hypocritical," she explained. "As soon as I walked into the park and saw [other t-shirts and toy weapons for sale] that were the same level, if not worse than what I had on my shirt."

A Busch Gardens spokesperson put out the following statement: "We are committed to fostering a safe, family atmosphere in our parks, including the dress code policy noted. One of the responsibilities of our security officers is to determine the appropriateness of guest attire and considering potentially offensive pictures or words printed on clothing is a major factor in their assessment. We are looking into this situation and have been in contact with the guest."

Source: WTVR
Photos: WTVR, Cjh1452000/Wikimedia, Jeremy Thompson/Flickr

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