New NFL policy bans off-duty officers from having guns at games

A new National Football League policy, recently discovered in a leaked memo, prohibits off-duty police officers from carrying guns into stadiums.

An internal memo obtained by Cleveland TV station WOIO 19 Action News, outlined the NFL’s new security policy affecting stadiums throughout the country.

Police officers often carry their firearms around the clock because of their oath to protect and serve the public on or off duty.

“I understand they’re screening a little bit more with metal detectors, but you know, when we walk through city streets, we’re police officers, too,” police union President, Jeff Follmer, told the TV station. “You never know what’s gonna happen, or when it’s gonna happen.”

The memo only allows law enforcement officers “specifically assigned to work security at the games, or private security officers contracted for stadium protection” to carry a gun, according to WOIO.

“The likelihood there’s a need for the use of deadly force by an off-duty officer is extremely remote,” Jeffrey Miller, head of league security, told the station, noting that each game generally has about 250 armed, uniformed officers on duty.

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Watch the report here from WOIO:

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About Cheryl Carpenter Klimek

Cheryl Carpenter Klimek has been a political consultant handling public affairs and PAC management for nearly 20 years. Cheryl can be reached by email at Cheryl@bizpacreview.com & on Twitter @CherylBPR

  • John A.

    And is the NFL prepared to walk off duty police officers to their vehicles to prevent them being attacked by those that may have grudges, now that they have assigned gun free zones between the parking lot and stadium. Or will there be gun lockers at the stadium. Ask the man who was beaten leaving the LA game how safe the walk is the the car.

  • Doug

    All right. We know what we have to do. Completely boycott the NFL. No t.v. watching no fantasy no nothing. I know my fellow conservatives have not watched Monday Night football since it went to ESPN because they are owned by gay-loving Disney. Now let’s go ALL THE WAY.

    • jigger1231

      That’s actually not a bad idea. They players make a lot of money from all of us… and the OWNERS make even more. I’d go for a all out boycott of the NFL. They’ve gotten out of control; just like every professional sport out there…Hell, maybe the ticket prices could be forced down to where the average schmo can afford them…

      • steve794

        well actually in Florida there is a state statue that covers off duty law enforcement and a law enforcement officer has a RIGHT to carry on or about his person and no one can stop a law enforcement officer from carrying his firearm . i have never run into that issue but if i had someone would be going to jail in a heart beat. you are still a police officer even if you are off duty because the moment something happens you have to act and you are now on duty. this just shows how stupid people are.

        • chrismalllory

          That is a law that needs to be overturned. No government employee should have powers that citizens do not also have. And unless they are on official duty, no government employee should be allowed to be armed on private property.

          • steve794

            so i guess if were in a accident and needed help the off duty officer should just walk on by so you can fend for yourself

        • Cory Hicks

          There is also private property rights. You can not force a property owner to allow a firearm onto their property unless it is for the investigation of criminal activity. The OFF DUTY officer does not meet that need.

          • Darrell Murray

            It is not a “private property” issue when it comes to allowing public access for a sporting event even if they charge admission. The Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act passed after 911 allows on and off duty police and retired police officers, to carry anywhere in the United States in or outside their jurisdiction. Current sworn personnel can not be regulated in such a manner as the NFL memo instructs. It is a very grey area concerning retired officers. I believe the real intent of the law was to have a trained reaction force in place to counter a terrorist threat without out compensating the off duty and retired police. As a retired State Officer, I carry everywhere, period. They know that we feel it is crazy not too. I believe the same rights should be granted to our law abiding citizens. You would certainly see a reduction of violent attacks, especially in the liberal paradises.

          • SFC D

            Thanks Darrell, At least YOU get it. Now if we could only elect lawmakers who get it too. Thank you for your service and if you ever get into politics let me know, if at all possible I will vote for you.

          • Darrell Murray

            You’re welcome.

          • k q

            A stadium is built using public funds You have every tight to carry if you are off duty or retired regarles of a no weapons policy

          • steve794

            not until you need him because some drunken idiot decides to start a fight with you and while your getting a beat down you would be the first one screaming for help and you would want that off duty officer to help wouldn’t you ? and when the public is invited in and pay it is now a business and the patrons have a right to be protected and the stadium is responsible for that safety and if a officer who is off duty fails to act then the department would be held liable as would the stadium a police officer is on duty 24/7. he is just not getting paid for the other 16 hours. and jut fyi the uniformed officers working at the stadium are off duty as they are hired by the stadium for security. and can not be on the city payroll and work there at the taxpayers expense.

          • Cory Hicks

            Steve, please do NOT get me wrong, I totaly support every officer (15 yrs city, county and fed LEO here), on or off duty carrying everywhere. I do also from the grocery store to Disneyland. But as you know you have the right to refuse service as a business owner to any person. I do not like it, but I also do not want an agent of the gov to force the business owner to lose his right to the control of his property. Now it is true that you can not be sued or arrested for bringing a weapon onto the grounds, but you do have to leave if asked, otherwise it is trespassing. I was asked to return to my vehicle at Candlestick and leave my weapon, so I changed to an ankle holster, lifted my shirt and was told to enjoy the game.
            sorry for the confusion, but it does fall under the same rights as trying to fly armed without proper need to be armed authorization from your department.

        • J. Brown

          Isn’t there a furor going on in NYC about an off duty undercover cover officer doing nothing when the motorcycle gang beat the guy in front of his family? May be the MSM failed to report this correctly.

      • Doug

        I hope you’ve been off Monday night for years like a lot of us.

      • Adolfo Betancourt

        AGREE

  • Lucktoday

    We wouldn’t want the good guys to be armed.

  • Bill York

    The Football league doesn’t have the authority to make policy that over rules state or federal laws, policies!

    • Cory Hicks

      Yes they do. Unless you are on duty, you have no right to force anyone agianst their private property rights. If I don’t want a person on my property, I have the right to remove them unless they are there on official duty in accordance with the constitution.

      • jigger1231

        Stadiums are , for the most part, built with public funding.

  • Adolfo Betancourt

    THE NFL CAN KISS MY ASS GOODBYE FROM EVER GOING TO A STADIUM. GOOD LUCK IN CONVINCING OFF OFFICERS FROM WORKING THE STADIUMS AS WELL. MAYBE THE NFL WILL HAVE TO HIRE FAT UNARMED UNSKILLED SECURITY GUARDS. NO OFFENSE TO THE FAT I THINK YOU GUYS ARE GREAT. IF YOU CANT SHOOT EM SIT ON THEM.

    • Doug

      That’s the spirit.

    • chrismalllory

      “MAYBE THE NFL WILL HAVE TO HIRE FAT UNARMED UNSKILLED SECURITY GUARDS.”

      Cops have most of that covered.

    • Don’t Even Try It!

      Cory is just a stupid idiot that doesn’t think people should have the right to protect themselves. LEO’s are in danger from revenge attacks and it is a serious issue. LEO’s can, must and do carry ALL the time! AND it is the right thing to do because THEY are LEOs 24/7. Bill is absolutely correct. The NFL cannot make policy that superceeds the staate or federal laws.

      • Cory Hicks

        Hey Don’t,
        please read my reply to Steve above, and don’t take my comments out of context.

  • dravo1

    Here’s an interesting thought. Does the NFL require all the stadium vendors that have stores/eateries to have background checks on the owners and employees and have their incoming product shipments x-rayed or searched? After what happened at the Kenya mall I’d be leery of just who owned each of these establishments in all the sports venues across the country. Superbowl is just a few months away. Is NFL security for real or just for show?

    I suspect this may be a security issue for US airports as well. Just how easy is it to ship weapons to stores inside airport secured areas?

    • Don’t Even Try It!

      Very easy.

  • William Highfield

    Most states prohibit citizens from attending sporting events with concealed weapons. I’m torn because part of me thinks cops that are off duty ARE a special circumstance, but part of me thinks they’re no different than I. If I can’t carry concealed at an event, why should they?

    • steve794

      because even though they are off duty they might come across a crime in progress and they have to act even if they are off duty because they took a oath to protect and serve and they are cops 24 /7. i was a police officer for 31 years and i have made many arrests off duty, it comes with the job. so a police officer is never off

      • SFC D

        But the courts have said that the police have no obligation to protect the individual citizen. Therefore I’m with Will, If I can’t carry lawfully to protect myself although I have training and a carry permit then why would off duty officers be any different. Sucks when you have to follow the same rules we do doesn’t it?

        • steve794

          again they took a oath to protect and serve did you? they have to act so dont confuse the 2. you need a permit to carry a police officer does not so yes the rules are different there are certain places where you are not allowed to carry that do not apply to a police officer so deal with it!

          • SFC D

            Actually I did, I wrote a blank check to the People of the US up to and including giving my life to protect them. Did you? You sound like one of those jerks who thinks that because they carry a badge you’re above the law with your comment “…so deal with it!” It is precisely that attitude that I distain in some LEOs and those with that attitude are precisely the ones who shouldn’t be in the business of law enforcement. And once again Steve they are NOT required to act, on or off duty.

    • Don’t Even Try It!

      Because they took an oath to “Protect and to Serve” We (as in the average citizen) did NOT take that oath. Therefore, in the event of ANY TYPE of EMERGENCY, the LEOs (on duty as well as off duty) are REQUIRED by their oath to assist, protect and serve in all situations.

      • William Highfield

        Courts have ruled that LEOs are NOT required, there was a recent case in NYC. Hell, some LEO’s who were off duty took part in that beating of an SUV driver last week by bikers. There are a great many well trained and professional LEOs. There are more than a couple of dirt bag LEOs. I see no reason why those with the proper training and proficiency and permit cannot be allowed to carry in sporting events.

        • steve794

          bill
          i agree with you .you are licensed and passed a back ground and if i need help i would more than happy to have some assistance.

          • SFC D

            Steve, I’m confused, Bill gets a responsible and kind response to his post and I get a snide remark to “deal with it!” when we are basically saying the same thing.

      • SFC D

        But the Supreme Court ruled that LEOs are not obligated to protect the individual citizen. Why did the courts rule this? Because someone wasn’t protected by police officers, they died, family sued, and lost. The LEOs are NOT REQUIRED to assist.
        That being said, I think most would assist but they are by no means required to do so.

  • CommonSense

    This is insanity. An NFL game is a disaster waiting to happen.

  • John

    That’s B.S. The laws and federal government say a police officer can carry 24/7 anyplace they go, doesn’t matter if they are on or off duty. I’m sick and tired of people making up their own rules about things in life.
    A cop is a cop on or off duty!!

    • slicemaster19

      “Although LEOSA preempts state and local laws, there are two notable exceptions: “the laws of any State that (1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property” or “(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park”"

      So property rights have bearing. If you are not in the active execution of your duty, can’t I say I don’t want a gun on my property? Well, that’s what the NFL is saying.

      I’m not exactly saying off-duty cops shouldn’t be allowed to carry their firearms. I just don’t understand why if legally licensed citizens can be prohibited, why not off-duty cops? I say let them all carry, or none. If it is dangerous for off-duty cops to be disarmed, it is also dangerous for citizens.

      • Ron

        Most of the stadiums are not owned by the NFL. They are owned by the cities, many of which the off duty officers work for.

        • slicemaster19

          Very few are owned by cities, but there are partnerships that include city departments as members or use public funds. As such, the actual owners of the stadium can make rules that they want, including restricting LEOSA carry.

          And the cities work for us citizens really, don’t they? Why should an off-duty cop be allowed to carry his gun some place that a law abiding citizen can not? In most states, only on-duty cops in the performance of their duties can carry their gun in to a school, so there are many precedents for not creating a class of citizens who have special privileges.

          I am not saying I am against off-duty cops carrying their guns. I am FOR allowing law abiding citizens to do it, and if they can’t then no one should. Just because you are a cop during the day does not give you extra rights at night, unless you are in the actual discharge of your sworn duty.

          • Ron

            ” Unsubscribe “

          • MannaDelight

            A cop is a cop, 24/7. A trained professional. Fine if I have to leave my gun at home. But I sure would want an off-duty cop with his in the seat next to me.

          • slicemaster19

            I think you have much too high an opinion of those “trained professionals”. I guarantee I have more training in the past couple years than most suburban or rural LEO. Not dissing LEOs, they are real heroes doing a thankless job. But most spend their time writing tickets or investigating property crime, not actually being tactical officers.

            Plus, studies show that the likelihood of being shot incorrectly by a cop (by mistake or by ineffective fire) is between 3 and 7 times MORE LIKELY than a civilian carrying a gun.

            Again, not saying off-duty cops SHOULDN’T be allowed, just that if all licensed law abiding citizens can’t cops shouldn’t either. I carry my gun for exactly the same reason as they do; we both might have to confront a bad actor in a violent situation. Just as likely to be me as an off-duty cop while at the game, but I’m supposed to be an un-armed bullet magnet while they get to protect themselves and their loved ones?

            Plus, so you want 5 or 10 off-duty cops watching your back, or 500 law abiding licensed citizens (probably way more than that, we are talking NFL fans)?

          • steve794

            so how can you actually discharged your sworn duty if you cant carry your gun? they do have the right to carry anytime and again remember just because a police officer is off duty does not mean he not a police officer when he is off duty because he is 24/7 i did it for 31 years and i have made many off duty arrests because people committing crimes do it because they dont see a uniformed officer. and i can tell you when your off and in plain clothes you dam well better have your gun because if you dont and something happens you will lose a few days pay so now you know

          • slicemaster19

            Again, not saying an off-duty cop SHOULDN’T have his gun, just that a law abiding licensed citizen SHOULD be able to. If they can’t, no one should. A cop needs a gun to protect his life and loved ones; so do I.

  • LTsiao

    After reading thru the comments, I would prefer off duty police to carry. If, more likely when, another attack happens, like Kenya. Statiums are “sitting ducks” full of soft targets. If there are enough armed and trained personel in the stadiums, off or on duty, the better the outcome for all those unarmed citizens. All of the recent studies, Harvard, CDC are confirming that armed society is safer, why not let the off duty carry? They have been trained.

    • SFC D

      As both a Soldier and a valid carry permit holder I too have been trained so why prevent me from carrying my concealed pistol? I agree that the stadiums are high profile targets and only made even more so by designating them “Gun Free Zones” but if a licensed trained permitted citizen is prohibited from having a weapon then the same should hold true for off duty LEOs. I strongly feel that the “rules” should apply to everyone. By making these exceptions you create an elite group which leads to the elks of Michael Bloomberg who spends millions on gun control yet hires armed guards to protect him and his family 24/7 or Diane Feinstein who carries/carried a concealed pistol while advocating taking that right away from everyone else. I both admire and appreciate our LEOs but they should be held to the same rules as the private citizen when off duty. Perhaps this will draw even more attention to some of the senseless laws and rules that have recently been passed and are currently trying to be passed.

      • LTsiao

        SFC D:
        I agree, I am a valid permit holder too. But if we really want to be specific, why do we need such strict carry laws? Criminals don’t obey them anyway. To go thru the training, practice (and yes everyone should practive often) would make everyone safer.
        Specifially, I was referring to police officers, not general concealed carry. Pehaps, I should not have said on or off duty, but anyone trained. I do think the anti-gun laws benefit only criminals and not law abiding citizens. I carry, but only when not at work, my school does not want me to carry on campus, I am a teacher. Why wouldn’t any place want the extra security of a trained, legal, armed and able citizen to help? How many lives could be saved?
        I also carry at home, we have bears, mountain lions, coyote, and other animals I don’t want to cross. Not to mention break ins from two leggeds.