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Steelers, state police criticized for gun party

Three years after the fact, accounts have emerged of a gun-shooting party involving the Pittsburgh Steelers and a state police facility at nearby Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, at least 14 Steelers participated in the 2006 event, using ammunition provided by the state police and illegal assault weapons from the evidence room.

The matter came to light now due to photographs showing Steelers players posing with various weapons, and in some images pointing weapons at teammates’ heads.

Said one state police official:  “It’s a state police firing range used for state police to train. When
we’re there, it’s downright military.  But at this event, it’s chaos.  Everybody’s
throwing contraband assault weapons around like they’re toys; it’s like
they’re having G.I. Joe tryouts.  Not only is this totally unethical,
but it’s totally illegal.”

It’s not the first time that an NFL team has found itself in the middle of a controversy involving a law enforcement agency’s shooting range.  During the 2005 season, Bears center Olin Kreutz and tackle Fred Miller got into a brawl at an FBI facility where players had taken target practice — and had attended a barbecue at which alcohol was served.  The two players were fined $50,000 each by the league office.

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62 Responses to “Steelers, state police criticized for gun party”
  1. superfan99 says: Aug 12, 2009 7:51 AM

    Yep, those pictures shown in the Philadelphia Daily News look like pure chaos.
    They posed for pictures with police officers! Sound the alarms!

  2. DonTerrelli says: Aug 12, 2009 7:53 AM

    Sounds like a great time

  3. Akron Rules says: Aug 12, 2009 7:58 AM

    Mike, I hate the Steelers as much as you love them, but this is such a non-story. The issue is the idiot cops (shockingly, many uneducated morons populate our police departments) not keeping the event under wraps.

  4. realityonetwo says: Aug 12, 2009 8:05 AM

    Not only is this totally unethical, but it’s totally illegal…
    ——-
    Not to mention totally idiotic. What do you expect when you mix cops and football players: Dumb and dumber.

  5. Smush Rodrigez says: Aug 12, 2009 8:09 AM

    “clinging to their bibles and guns”

  6. RexRyan'sStressedLapband says: Aug 12, 2009 8:12 AM

    Yeah, I’m going to have to go ahead and agree with Mr. Akron Rules on this one….uhhhh…yeah…going to have to say this one was…ahhh…the police department’s fault. (Sorry, watched Office Space last night – got Lundberg on the brain)
    In all seriousness, this isn’t the Steelers fault for taking part. Hell, if I was given the opportunity to go fire some badass weapons, I’d be there, too. And that’s why this is just plain wrong. What makes this acceptable to the police force? Because they are professional football players? I mean, really, it just seems like a lame attempt for the officers to get some autographs and photo ops with the players. Someone should lose his job over this one, but he won’t.

  7. Krow says: Aug 12, 2009 8:13 AM

    What is it with the Steelers? Didn’t they used to be one of the old-fashioned “good citizen” franchises? WTF happened?

  8. Coughlins Happy Pills says: Aug 12, 2009 8:22 AM

    Outside of the evidence room part, this is a non issue IMO.

  9. favrecansuckit says: Aug 12, 2009 8:26 AM

    If anyone should be scrutinized here it’s the cops.

  10. ppdoc13 says: Aug 12, 2009 8:33 AM

    Model franchise!lol

  11. JoeFlaccosUniBrow says: Aug 12, 2009 8:35 AM

    Who’s Facebook account did the pictures show up on?
    I hate the Steelers but if this did happen, who cares? What would have been a story (and a damn good one) is if Ben shot himself in the leg with said assault rifle(s).
    Sounds like someone on the police squad was not invited and the leaked it to get even.

  12. footballnut says: Aug 12, 2009 8:37 AM

    The only problem is the handling, or the way the rifles were handled. The police officers should’ve practiced better safety as shit can happen.
    Other than that there is nothing wrong with someone using assualt rifles at a state police range under supervision.

  13. superfan99 says: Aug 12, 2009 8:38 AM

    @Krow
    What’s the problem? They were at a shooting range.

  14. bobinpuertorico says: Aug 12, 2009 8:59 AM

    When Goodell rejected Marshawn Lynch’s appeal, he clearly established that the penalty for illegal possession of a gun is a three game suspension. How many current Steelers will miss the first three games of the regular season?

  15. Citizen Strange says: Aug 12, 2009 9:03 AM

    Gotta love the cops!

  16. meezle says: Aug 12, 2009 9:04 AM

    Thank god burress wasn’t still there, who the hell knows what would’ve happened then!

  17. C.Bass says: Aug 12, 2009 9:09 AM

    It must be a really slow day.
    Yawn.

  18. The Jimmy says: Aug 12, 2009 9:19 AM

    I’m glad I actually read the article and looked at the pictures. From Florio’s writing I envisioned someone intentionally pointing a gun at someone’s head.
    The problem with photographs is that there is no depth perception. If you look at Max Starks’ feet he is clearly standing in front of the people next to him. I don’t believe the gun he is holding across his chest is pointing at anyone’s head. That said no one should be pointing a gun anywhere in that general direction but this is what happens when you have people who haven’t received proper gun training playing with guns.
    The only people who have done anything wrong here are the State Police.

  19. notlisteninganymore says: Aug 12, 2009 9:23 AM

    @ bobinpuertorico
    Uh, they were not in possession of the firearms and were there with the police.
    All in all it was very stupid, but they were at a State Police shooting range.
    I’m guessing you are a Bengals fan.

  20. 6RINGS! says: Aug 12, 2009 9:26 AM

    Florio,
    You put this article under the “Latest News” column? Your article starts with 3 YEARS AFTER THE FACT? Must be really slow today. Besides this crap happens in Montana and Kentucky everday.

  21. TylerDurden says: Aug 12, 2009 9:28 AM

    Who cares……really…

  22. topcide says: Aug 12, 2009 9:40 AM

    Was Marvin Harrison there?

  23. Jilla says: Aug 12, 2009 9:41 AM

    Dookie had a gun, Dookie had a gun

  24. bobinpuertorico says: Aug 12, 2009 9:53 AM

    @notlisteninganymore
    If they fired the guns, then they must have been in their possession. You can’t fire a gun that another person is holding. The fact that police participated in an illegal activity does not change the fact that it was illegal.
    Actually, since they fired the guns, they deserve longer suspensions than Marshawn Lynch’s three games, because he only had a gun in the trunk of his vehicle.

  25. jimicos says: Aug 12, 2009 10:05 AM

    It’s Lumbergh, not Lundberg.

  26. thehoodedone says: Aug 12, 2009 10:06 AM

    Guns don’t rape people. Ben Roethlisberger rapes people.

  27. Wonder Kat says: Aug 12, 2009 10:17 AM

    I say the next time the Patriots are in town, give Bill Bellichick a PA State Police escort.

  28. glennski says: Aug 12, 2009 10:21 AM

    A child is allowed to fire a gun at a gun range with parental supervision but they aren’t allowed to get a permit to carry one on them in public.
    Possession does not equal holding in a legal sense, can’t believe I really have to explain that though.

  29. mashaddict says: Aug 12, 2009 10:23 AM

    looks like everyone is trying like hell to disrupt the steelers organization because they are afraid that they are going to win the super bowl again this year.

  30. rich in cincy says: Aug 12, 2009 10:23 AM

    Who are the bad boys of the league now……Bengals are saints compared to the “sqeaky clean espn boy, Ben” and the rest of the thugs on that team.
    Who-dey!

  31. notlisteninganymore says: Aug 12, 2009 10:25 AM

    Let’s see Bob, I read the article so based on the preponderance of evidence, and not hearsay, they were not in possession of illegal firearms.
    Do I think they did something they should not have been doing…absolutely. Do I think the NFL will suspend them? No
    Here are the excerpts from the article.
    Lt. Myra Taylor, spokeswoman for the state police, said the state cops routinely host community groups for firearms-safety instruction. She denied that the Steelers had used firearms from the evidence room or that state police had issued ammo.
    “This was a good-faith gesture to ensure that they [Steelers] knew how to operate firearms safely,” Taylor said. “We do this with a number of other community groups – Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, citizen police groups.”
    * The party occurred during a time when state police officials, seeking to trim costs, had severely restricted troopers’ ammunition use, the sources said. At the time, troopers were given enough ammunition to qualify with their firearms, as they’re required to do twice a year, but no extra to improve their proficiency, sources said.
    Taylor said that no state police-issued ammunition had been used by the Steelers, even though two sources familiar with the shooting day identified it as such. In several photos, the doors to a range shelter where ammunition and range gear is kept stand wide open, and piles of state police ammunition boxes litter the ground.

  32. The Coop says: Aug 12, 2009 10:33 AM

    The REAL story here is how awesome the Steelers are at keeping their players’ illegal activities out of the newspapers and blogospheres until they are completely irrelevant.

  33. meezle says: Aug 12, 2009 10:35 AM

    I think it was plaxs facebook page

  34. Dawn says: Aug 12, 2009 10:57 AM

    Pittsburgh residents’ hard-earned tax dollars at work.
    But I guess all will be forgiven since they won the SB.

  35. Dewey Axewound says: Aug 12, 2009 11:12 AM

    Olin Kreutz is a cross-eyed, jaw-breaking animal.
    As long as no one’s ventilating their thigh, drunkenly driving over Mexicans, gambling and sadistically mutilating animals with Young Jeezy, wooing Brett Favre, or raping some nasty skank, let the guys have their fun.
    Much wiser folks than us gave us the 2nd Amendment for a reason.

  36. Raging Clue says: Aug 12, 2009 11:22 AM

    And people wonder why Steelers players never end up on the wrong side of the law; they’re like Pennsylvania’s own mafia.

  37. Flip says: Aug 12, 2009 11:22 AM

    @rich in cincy
    Just simply a foolish comment. I doubt there are many Steeler fans who would wish that all your troublemakers in cincy much ill will, but clearly your not exactly mature enough to make intelligent conversation or debates. Kinda like another dozen or so who have posted here.
    This is about something that happened 3 years ago. Such a non story with no consequences possible. Bad judgment on the cops part.
    I just hope that everyone involved had a good time, looked like a blast. I know I would have.
    I simply can not believe that people would even bring up Lynch or Plex with this story, apples and oranges.
    Good work Florio, you actually got me to read another of your worthless articles. Not only do I demand my minute that it took me to read this, but I want my 10 iq points back from reading it and some of the posts here as well.
    For the ones bagging on the cops, if you ever have your car stolen or house broken into, remember, do not call those so called idiot cops, track down the criminals yourself. Seriously, ignorant people should have to pass a course before they can take part in most discussions that do not involve Jello.

  38. Stihler fan says: Aug 12, 2009 11:37 AM

    rich in cincy:
    You’re just figuring out who the bad boys are? Watch out for Kemo! HA HA. GO STEELERS!!

  39. Bob Nelson says: Aug 12, 2009 11:39 AM

    So what was illegal?
    Nothing. Getting invited to the state range and firing state guns is not illegal.
    Unethical!!
    Accepting a governmental invitation is not unethical. They gave the state police nothing in return.
    If they were invited to an Army range and got to shoot machine guns and throw hand grenades there would be nothing wrong with that either.
    Just a little fun.
    I cannot see why it is a story or why anyone would be upset.

  40. SixBurghDude says: Aug 12, 2009 11:51 AM

    Anyone here that thinks this is a story, or thinks it’s offensive or criminal is a F*CKING CUNTLER!!!

  41. Frank Burns says: Aug 12, 2009 11:53 AM

    Gotta love the haters. Thanks for reminding me again who the champs are! Woo hoo!
    Yeah, richie boy, the “bad boys” huh… let’s see, because Ben got ACCUSED of something by a woman whose credibility is crumbling by the day? Or the team was using firearms at a police facility under the supervision of some… policemen?
    If only Chris Henry had done either one, why he’d be… out of jail.

  42. bunbun says: Aug 12, 2009 12:02 PM

    This is clearly illegal activity on both the police side and the Steelers players side. The weapons in question are Federally illegal to possess. That means simply holding them in your hands, on or about your person, etc. The police should be reprimanded, fined, suspended , etc. As for the Steelers , charges should be filed so a prosecution can proceed and Mr. Roger Godell should suspend and fine these slack assed sh*t for brains criminals. Again these low life, flakey, dirt bag slime ball players are crapping directly in the face of Mr Godell, the NFL and the fans. Put the criminals in prison. Flush the players from the NFL. NOW.

  43. EskinSux says: Aug 12, 2009 12:10 PM

    The Pennsylvania State Police is, hands down the most corrupt organiziation in the entire state,…Laws, what laws? …..Now, they will do an investigation, at taxpayers expense of course, and after the story fades a bit, all will be exonerated….Hell, some might even get promoted…..

  44. voodoodauley says: Aug 12, 2009 12:13 PM

    If Oakland did this it would be front page news…. they would never be able to live it down….. what in the hell makes the Squealers so damn special???? They should be fined and punished by the league commissioner for this!

  45. whatthehellisgoingonoutthere says: Aug 12, 2009 12:13 PM

    There should definitely be an asterisk put next to the Steelers Super Bowl championship! LOL
    After seeing the pictures and reading the article, it does come across as very stupid. That said, nobody should be surprised when the star struck police officers jump at the opportunity to hangout with their idols from the Steelers for a day; even if it was against the rules using ammo paid for with public funds and removing guns from the evidence room.

  46. okonkwo21 says: Aug 12, 2009 1:42 PM

    I agree voodoodauley…
    Say what you want, Steeler fans, but if this happens in Cincinnati or Oakland, all you would talk about is how the players there are law-breakers and thugs.
    But since it happened in Pittsburgh, it’s a non-story three years after the fact. A double standard… defined.

  47. superfan99 says: Aug 12, 2009 1:56 PM

    Shooting guns at a shooting range? Oh No! What’s next for these dangerous criminals?
    By the way, what everyone is conveniently leaving out is that numerous Steelers have donated thousands of dollars to the State Police memorial fund after a Pittsburgh-based state police officer was killed in the line of duty a few years ago.
    The Steelers are big supporters of both state and local Police departments, both of which have faced major tragedies in the past five years. You will notice that during a lot of post-game interviews, Steelers will be wearing Police and Fire hats.

  48. mashaddict says: Aug 12, 2009 2:33 PM

    BRAVO superfan99. the media always prints the bad and not the good that people do. and it is everything not just sports.

  49. footballnut says: Aug 12, 2009 2:53 PM

    bunbun:
    You’re not too bright. It is illegal for a PRIVATE citizen to own assault rifles, etc. Not the state police and military.
    There are many sanctioned ranges that a private citizen can go to and have some fun under direct supervision of licensed professionals. You just can’t take the weapons home with you.
    I hate the Steelers but those of you calling this illegal, have no clue about gun laws. Wackos…
    The Steelers players and state police did nothing wrong and these weapons were not in the evidence room, but issued to the SWAT teams, etc.
    This country is getting dumber by the day. Go back to watching American Idol and the Dog Whisperer.

  50. Jackal138 says: Aug 12, 2009 3:51 PM

    This gets one story, but Matt Nagy gets like, 18. Good work PFT! Keep on touching on the real issues.

  51. Jackal138 says: Aug 12, 2009 3:53 PM

    # EskinSux says: August 12, 2009 12:10 PM
    The Pennsylvania State Police is, hands down the most corrupt organiziation in the entire state,…Laws, what laws? …..Now, they will do an investigation, at taxpayers expense of course, and after the story fades a bit, all will be exonerated….Hell, some might even get promoted…..
    Not only will everyone be exonerated, but there will be a lot of “boys in blue” sitting close to Heinz Field this year, courtesy of the team. PA Staties are the worst!

  52. Matt says: Aug 12, 2009 3:57 PM

    okonkwo21 says:
    August 12, 2009 1:42 PM
    I agree voodoodauley…
    Say what you want, Steeler fans, but if this happens in Cincinnati or Oakland, all you would talk about is how the players there are law-breakers and thugs.
    But since it happened in Pittsburgh, it’s a non-story three years after the fact. A double standard… defined.
    *******************************************
    First, Cincinnati and Oakland don’t just have players that do stupid things – they have a reputation around the league associated with their legal history, and it goes back more than two years. Second, it’s not just Steelers fans who would be making comments if this had involved Oakland or Cincinnati – pull your head out of your ass.

  53. i'm president charlie! says: Aug 12, 2009 4:11 PM

    These pictures have been out for months….
    http://psamp.com/2009-articles/august/what-is-phillycom-trying-to-prove.html
    btw…guns don’t kill people James Harrison kills people.

  54. SixBurghDude says: Aug 12, 2009 5:07 PM

    Just another bogus story posted for the purpose of getting all the pussies spewing their hatred for the REIGNING & RIGHTFUL 6x CHAMPS…I’d hate too (mostly myself), if I had to support your teams…LMMFAO!!!

  55. voodoodauley says: Aug 12, 2009 5:09 PM

    Matt says:
    August 12, 2009 3:57 PM
    First, Cincinnati and Oakland don’t just have players that do stupid things – they have a reputation around the league associated with their legal history, and it goes back more than two years. Second, it’s not just Steelers fans who would be making comments if this had involved Oakland or Cincinnati – pull your head out of your ass.
    **********************************
    Oh yeah…. interesting…. I am having trouble recollecting all of these problem players on Oakland’s current roster…. could you please point them out to me? Since we have so many more than the rest of the league I am sure this is quite an impressive list you have…..
    I would never isolate The Squealers for their hatred of Oakland BTW…. everybody loves to hate oakland….

  56. steeltownpride says: Aug 12, 2009 5:20 PM

    lol everytime the Steelers win everyone tries to put a monkey wrench into the program . First the rape now this .
    Lets clear the air here ok ? In 1977 Mel Blount jaywalked and wasnt issued a ticket . In 1988 Walter Albercrumbie litered and wasnt cited .
    Just wanted to clear the air . lol what a bunch of dumbasses . Matter of fact i have been to the FBI training center at Quantico Va and shot guns there under their supervision . It always happens . Ever see a senator or Congressman posing with tanks and firing weapons . Stop the hate people ok ?

  57. Florios_a_tool says: Aug 12, 2009 5:37 PM

    …just another Florio non-story.
    a little like claiming rape, after waiting a year to do it.

  58. HolmeSlice says: Aug 12, 2009 6:34 PM

    well, there was that time Ernie Holmes shot at some truckers and state cops on the Ohio Turnpike ….. ah, but the Governor was from Pittsburgh and everything went away, so all’s well :)

  59. HolmeSlice says: Aug 12, 2009 6:35 PM

    well, there was that time Ernie Holmes shot at some truckers and state cops on the Ohio Turnpike ….. ah, but the Governor was from Pittsburgh and everything went away, so all’s well :)

  60. unclejumbo says: Aug 12, 2009 10:55 PM

    Wow, the ignorance here and in the article is unreal.
    Semi-automatic rifles often referred to as “assault weapons” are fully legal within the Commonwealth of PA.
    No rifles were removed from the evidence room. The sticker on the rifle is a property sticker indentifying it as property owned by the Commonwealth of PA.
    It is not illegal to allow someone to shoot a firearm belonging to another so long as the owner is present.
    Owning and or using firearms is no more akin to thuggery than owning or using a cell phone. Illegal use of firearms may be described as a criminal act which may equal thuggery.
    The ammunition may or may not have been PSP ammo. It is readily available at gun shops everywhere.
    It would be nice if people would actually bring facts to an argument rather than hyperbole.

  61. voodoodauley says: Aug 13, 2009 4:50 AM

    Lets see…. one player gets suspended by the league for giving the league a thug like appearance through general stupidity but actually does no jail time for those actions…..
    Then…. pretty much a whole team goes out and sends out bad images by glorifying ILLEGAL weapons and use group stupidity…. but it goes un reported, unpunished, or unnoticed for several years…..
    The league is all about image these days…. why is pacman not working? Hell why is Marvin Harrison not working…. he hasn’t been charged with a thing…. And Vick? he served his time…. he is a free man….
    So image matters….
    and I am still waiting for that list of current thugs on oakland’s roster….

  62. Steelers 3:16 says: Aug 13, 2009 7:24 AM

    I bet Plax regretted going to New York after hearing that he missed out on this party.

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