More Police Want Off-Duty Officers to Carry in NFL Stadiums

The national police union is challenging the National Football League's position on its policy regarding people carrying firearms in their stadiums.

The Fraternal Order of Police National President Chuck Canterbury sent a letter to the NFL in late November, requesting that the league change a 2013 policy that prohibits the lawful carrying of firearms by off-duty and retired law enforcement officers at stadiums and facilities, according to this story from NRA-ILA.

The letter, sent after the terrorist attacks in Paris, including a shooting at a crowded concert venue, pointed out that NFL venues could make for an enticing target for terrorists, and that the gun ban "weakens the safety and security of NFL players, personnel and fans," the story says.

In addition to the FOP's efforts, the Detroit Command Officer's Association, Police Officer's Association, and Lieutenants and Sergeants Association have singed a letter asking the NFL to rescind the ban.

The letter says, "Law enforcement officers often carry a weapon while off duty not only for their own personal protection, but to provide a critical response when circumstances call for immediate action. Acts of terrorism we have recently experienced only add to the desirability of having readily available armed law enforcement officers even if they are not officially 'on duty.'"

The FOP of Ohio has send letters to the Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam and Cincinnati Bengals president Mike Brown. According to the story, the letter says, "we know that deranged individuals will select their attack where no uniformed and armed law enforcement is located as the success of their mission is gauged on body count," and that "having more trained law enforcement officers, even though off duty, will only enhance everyone's safety that is in attendance at your stadium."

We reported last month that the union for the New York City Police Department created an online petition after the Paris attacks with a goal to change the NFL's long-standing policy barring guns in stadiums during games.

Back in 2013, just after the policy was formed, the FOP sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressing their opposition to the rule, saying "law enforcement officers, which you employed to protect teams and the stadiums in which they play, do not suddenly become a security risk if the attend an NFL game on their day off or after they retire."