Cops versus NFL E-mail
Written by Mark Nichols   

The NFL might have bitten off more than the tax-exempt-billion dollar enterprise can chew with its new rules. New NFL stadium security rules ban off-duty law enforcement officers from taking their guns into stadiums. But many law enforcement officers and associations believe this prohibition on off-duty cops carrying firearms to games might be a violation of officers’ rights and may even be unconstitutional.

A Minneapolis police association that represents peace officers has written the NFL a letter voicing their displeasure. The NFL has received hundreds of such letters from police officers and groups across the country since the policy was announced.

One of the law enforcement leaders worried about the policy is Minneapolis Police Federation President John Delmonico. He believes a call for off-duty officers to give up their weapons at the gate violates an officer’s rights under Minnesota law.

The Minneapolis Police Federation sites state law, Chapter 624, which gives police officers full police powers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.     

“State law governs the facts that we can carry our guns off-duty in any public facility and any facility in the city of Minneapolis, which encompasses the dome,” Minneapolis Police Federation’s John Delmonico told WCCO News recently.

“I’ve asked the Attorney General to render a legal opinion on whether they can do this or not,” Delmonico said.
Delmonico says off-duty officers without weapons cannot protect the public. Arguments that that the NFL is responsible for stadium security have not been convincing.

“In today’s world, active shooter cases around the country, schools, churches, malls you know stadiums we’re fully trained we know what to do we know how to do it and having licensed police officers in area like that armed I think can be very beneficial, ” Delmonico said.

In a recently released statement, the NFL says there is an average of 600 civilian security personnel and 250 uniformed armed police officers assigned to protect public safety and enforce the law at each stadium on game days.

The NFL says that off duty officers do not know emergency response procedures and protocols. Therefore the NFL thinks limiting the number of firearms in stadiums is a good idea.

“I have made contact with the Vikings organization this afternoon and I asked them what are their expectations and they politely replied to me that they need some time to think about this, check into this and they will get back to me,” Hennepin County Sheriff Rick Stanek said.

And it’s not just local law enforcement that’s up in arms over a restriction on the rights of police officers to bear arms, off-duty at NFL games.

“Federal law enforcement officers carry their weapons to protect themselves and the public,” the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association said in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The professional association, which represents more than 26,000 federal workers from more than 65 agencies, also pointed out that federal officers are “highly trained individuals who not only carry in an off-duty situation to protect themselves, but who can serve as valuable backup for stadium security.”

If law enforcement leaders and associations are successful in pushing back against the NFL gun-ban, odds are that civilian Second Amendment groups will follow suit.


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Comments (1)Add Comment
sgt. of police / retired Houston police officer
written by Duane Gordon, December 05, 2013
are they forgetting about H.R. 218 Law Enforcement Officer safety Act (2004) with amendments in 2011 and 2013. I just re read the law and unless I missed it the NFL would be in direct violation of the law if they attempt to enforce this law and would most like be subject to a law suit or class action effort to correct this problem.

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