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The New York Post
Philip Messing

The NYPD's sergeants union believes off-duty cops should be allowed to carry guns in NFL stadiums - and is planning legal action to get the rules changed.

League officials notified team owners in September to no longer allow members of law enforcement who are not on the clock to pack heat at games.

There are two exemptions - the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans - which convinced the league that Texas gun laws supersede NFL policy, sources said.

In those venues, off-duty cops carrying weapons notify officials where they're sitting - and they're allowed admittance.

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Edward Mullins said the new league policy is a violation of any state laws that allow off-duty cops to carry their guns in public places.

"The NFL is telling us that highly trained law-enforcement officials shouldn't be allowed to enter stadiums with their guns," he said.

SBA lawyers plan to submit a "friend of the court" filing that would be attached to a Minnesota lawsuit by two police unions that challenges the policy.

The suit stemmed from a December incident in which an off-duty Minneapolis cop attending a Vikings game was prevented from entering the Metrodome until he left his weapon in his car.

Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the NFL, said in an e-mail that the current security at stadiums is more than adequate.

"The on-duty law-enforcement personnel assigned to NFL stadiums are specially trained and required to participate in weekly meetings pertaining to pregame and game-day security and law-enforcement planning, strategy and emergency response procedures and protocols," he wrote.

He added that such "personnel know one another, work together on a regular basis and have specific game-day assignments, responsibilities and duties."

Miller said on average, more than 500 civilian security personnel and 150 on-duty local, state and federal law-enforcement officers are assigned to every game.

Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, a Washington lobbying group, said, "In general terms, we are glad the NFL is pushing back against this very poisonous myth that the National Rifle Association is circulating that guns make us safer."

Off-duty city cops are allowed to bring their weapons into Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center.


March 6, 2014




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