NFL Faces Lawsuit From Police Groups Over Stadium Gun Ban
Two Minnesota police associations are suing the NFL over its policy banning people from bringing guns into stadiums. The suit argues that the ban infringes on the right of off-duty officers to carry their weapons.
The NFL policy, adopted last September, makes exceptions for law enforcement personnel working at games or private security contractors that have licenses and permits. The police groups point out that off-duty cops had been allowed to carry their firearms into Vikings games for more than three decades, and there was never an incident reported.
Here's more from FoxNews.com:
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) and Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, claims that the policy puts members of the public at an unnecessary risk by prohibiting licensed, off-duty police officers from carrying their weapons inside a stadium.
Current Minnesota law requires anyone who possesses a pistol in a public place to have a permit, but police officers are exempted from that requirement. The lawsuit claims that the NFL's policy does not acknowledge the state's exemption.
"By prohibiting licensed police officers from maintaining possession of their service weapon, the National Football League not only violates the law, but places the public and law enforcement at unnecessary risk while impairing the legal status of police officers, the very people willing to put their lives on the line to protect the public every day," Dennis Flaherty, executive director of MPPOA, claimed in an interview with KMSP.
Legal experts Lis Wiehl and Doug Burns weighed in on the lawsuit on America's News HQ today. Wiehl pointed out that the ban runs counter to state law and in some cases, police officers are required to carry their firearm while off-duty.
Burns said that employment requirement could make the NFL's position tougher to justify in court.
Is the league going too far in this case? Sound off in the comments below!