Not surprisingly, the NFL prohibits fans from bringing guns to stadiums. For off-duty police officers, however, that presents a problem.
It’s enough of a problem to prompt a pair of Minnesota law-enforcement groups to file suit challenging the policy.
According to KSTP, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis claim that the policy violates Minnesota law authorizing qualified citizens to carry handguns in public. For off-duty police officers, who may be expected to intervene in any criminal action that occurs inside the stadium, it arguably becomes even more important to have their guns.
The NFL had not responded to multiple requests for comment from KSTP. The Vikings have said the team will defer to the NFL.
While it makes sense to ban guns at NFL stadiums, it likewise makes sense to allow off-duty officers to bring theirs in. People congregate in large numbers in plenty of places where it’s impossible to keep folks from having their guns. Those who are legitimately licensed to carry guns in public — particularly those who work in law enforcement — can make a strong case for being allowed to carry those guns from the public areas outside a football stadium to the public areas inside a football stadium.