Minnesota Police Groups Sue NFL Over Stadium Gun Ban

Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 09:25 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Two Minnesota police organizations have sued the National Football League over its ban on guns in football stadiums, arguing the policy violates a state law that gives off-duty cops the right to carry weapons.

According to Fox News, the lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis also claims that the ban puts members of the public at unnecessary risk.

"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," said Dennis Flaherty, executive director of MPPOA.

The NFL adopted the policy in September, which, in addition to prohibiting guns from stadiums, also bans them from team offices and practice facilities.

The only exceptions to the policy are for law enforcement officers specifically assigned to work at an NFL game or event as security and also for private security contractors who hold valid licenses and firearms permits.

Minnesota law requires anyone who possesses a firearm in public to have a permit, but police officers are exempt from that requirement.

The lawsuit claims the NFL's policy does not acknowledge the state's exemption.

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