Minnesota cops sue NFL over gun ban at games

Categories: Guns, Law, Vikings
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The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis is suing the NFL over a league policy that bars off-duty cops from bringing firearms to games.

RELATED: Mpls officers want off-duty cops to be able to carry guns at Vikings games

Dennis Flaherty, executive director of the Peace Officers Association, told us the NFL policy, which went into effect last season, violates the Minnesota Citizens Personal Protection Act of 2003.

"The legislature spoke clearly when they enacted a law allowing private parties to ban weapons in private places but exempting police officers from those bans," Flaherty said. "The legislature clearly intended for [officers] to be allowed [to carry guns], so the NFL doesn't have the authority to do this and the Minnesota law is relevant."

The lawsuit, filed this morning in Hennepin County District Court, names the NFL, Vikings, and University of Minnesota Board of Regents as defendants.

Flaherty said the lawsuit was partially motivated by the experience of an off-duty cop who was turned away when he tried to bring his firearm into the Metrodome for a Vikings game last season.

"In order for him to be allowed to see the game he had to lock his loaded firearm in a vehicle, which is about the most unsound and unsafe thing that could be done," Flaherty said. "So we know [the NFL] is serious about imposing this and we can't sit back and allow them to violate the law."

The Personal Protection Act allows "for an officer to arm themselves when they are off-duty, and most officers do so they are able to respond to a police matter that may occur in their presence, or for self-protection," Flaherty continued.

An NFL spokesperson didn't immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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57 comments
Steve Mickle
Steve Mickle

A licensed police officer can carry a gun anytime, almost anywhere, on duty or off. Unless they're drinking.

Barny911
Barny911

Just carry your gun anyway.  I do.  What can they possibly do to you.  I carry everwhere whether they like it or not.

youdeserveit
youdeserveit

look you peasants we cops are above the law so get used to it, maybe I'll see you on the highway some time and beat or shoot your punk ass. ps thanks for license to kill and fat pension haha you suckers

Ryan Schoen
Ryan Schoen

Fuck them! They have no right to bring that shit in there! But I guess we'll have to let one of those pigs get all juiced up & shoot someone 1st before anything would change. #Frivolous

Matthew Martin
Matthew Martin

"The Personal Protection Act allows "for an officer to arm themselves when they are off-duty, and most officers do so they are able to respond to a police matter that may occur in their presence, or for self-protection," Flaherty continued." Ya, I get that. But aren't there already enough on-duty police and security at Vikings games? This lawsuit seems ridiculous.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Jesus Christ.  You know, at what point do we remind the cops that they work for us, and that a stadium full of Vikings fans is not actually an insurrection waiting to happen?  And that if they're that concerned about being unarmed in case something might happen, maybe they don't have the leisure to go to a goddam football game?  They should be restocking their bunkers or something if we're that close to the unraveling of the social fabric.


Christ on a Stick, we've all lost our freaking minds since 9/11 and let the worst, most paranoid parts of our society run the whole damned place.  We deserve the results.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Really ?!? The thugs in badges wanting special privileges . Go figure .... If they win , then all cc permit holders should be able to participate also.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

anyone who feels the need to be armed at all times, at a ball game of all places, is a HUGE pussy living in fear


somebody living in, and motivated by, fear is easily the most dangerous person in the room.

Jeremy Martin
Jeremy Martin

So let's recap here. The cops don't want legal pot but do want more citizens to get drunk while armed. Am I the only one who sees a problem here?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

if the cops off duty he DOESNT get to carry his gun like a security blanket

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Police Officers are COWARDS....


what a pathetic argument


DOWN WITH POLICE

Jeremiah Jazdzewski
Jeremiah Jazdzewski

A drunk cop at a Vikings game with a loaded gun, what could possibly go wrong?

Joshua Warren
Joshua Warren

Why bring a gun? If you're off duty, you are a private citizen.he is most likely drinking, so it should be a non issue, don't bring it. What an idiot. Exploiting position and power is what is happening here, no regard for the law.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@swmnguy

One might argue that if you want to do that, it starts with changing the law.  MN law very clearly states that law enforcement officers are exempt from the provisions of weapons bans.  Right or wrong, it would appear that the (tax-exempt) NFL is attempting to circumvent the laws of our state.  (Much like they did along with city officials when blatantly skating around city referendum requirements in regards to funding a new stadium.)

I question why the NFL even gets to call the shots at "the people's stadium" anyway.  Doesn't this development belong to Minneapolis? 

I don't claim to know what the right answer is.  Only that we should consider the flip side of the argument.  

1. From a criminal's perspective, he know's that 99.99+% of people leaving the stadium after a game are unarmed.  Sure there are crowds, but all you have to do is follow a crowd to the bar and wait for the stragglers to leave at the end of the night.

2. Knowing that people cannot carry their firearms into the stadium, it would be a trivial matter to watch the nearby parking lots to catch people unloading and stashing their firearms in their cars, thereby knowing exactly which cars you need to break into to acquire a gun.

That's why I ignore the 'banned on these premises' signs.  (most aren't legally posted anyway).  Given my options, the safest place for my firearm is on my hip within my direct control.  And by control, I mean muzzle control.  My gun is never pointed at anyone when I am carrying, but I have NO IDEA what it's doing when it's locked up in my car.  Personally, I'm not okay with that.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol You appear to be the one living in fear and threatening other people. Just look at the comments you leave here. Most of us stay pretty civil for the most part on these boards until nasty you and that Bachmann character show up. You two degenerate these boards into 4th grade level arguments and name calling. Grow up. If you want people to take you serious try making intelligent points instead of telling cops to die and calling people pussies.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@digitalprotocol

It's so much fun to poke your hot-button issues with a stick and watch you froth.

LTdslr
LTdslr

@digitalprotocol You must have not finished the article so I pasted this here for you:

"
The Personal Protection Act allows "for an officer to arm themselves when they are off-duty""

LTdslr
LTdslr

I reread and reread the article and I still can't find the part that said anything about alcohol, but hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story!

And P.S. if he were drinking, he would be breaking the law, so you're missing the whole point of the article.

uhuhu
uhuhu

what has ever gone wrong with a drunk cop with a gun at any sports venue anywhere in the united states ever? find one incident. twat. 

uhuhu
uhuhu

what are you so afraid of? you are surrounded by people legally carrying concealed weapons. try not to pee your panties.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

Almost all cops and people who work in county jails conceal and carry and with very good reason. It's not to protect you, it's to protect themselves. I have friends and family in law enforcement and they run into people they have arrested in the past when they go out in public more often than you would think. I've been with my family when criminals have walked up and said, "hi you're deputy so and so aren't you."

Barny911
Barny911

It's not a law it's a policy. Big difference.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81 my point is always the same and it is logical and clear:


if you need a gun on you always and everywhere - you live in fear  


that cannot be refuted. your lame story about your family being seen in public by someone they arrested holds no water. you dont need a gun to protect yourself at a game, the social contract protects you.


watch the game and shut the fuck up about your stupid guns



ZOMG I DONT HAVE MY PISTOL, HOW CAN I ENJOY THE VIKINGS GAME WITHOUT MY PUSSY FILLER



digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@_Joe_ haha, what are you a cop sympathizer now?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@LTdslr thats garbage legislation created and paid for by COPS



thanks for trying to embarrass me, i always read the articles. they are easy to read


try coming up with some original thoughts to post instead of posting nothing

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@LTdslr  the point of the article is that police want ever increasing power and status. that police think they are better than the rest of society, like theyre elite or something


we all know how the elite are viewed and how we mock them behind their back.


cops are the same except way more dangerous to a civil society


all these military grunts becoming cops is bad for all, many tragedies to happen soon

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@uhuhu  i know of drunk asian cop that got his ass beat and embarrassed for racially profiling a citizen while off duty. downtown. after a game

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@uhuhu  your so dumb that you dont even get the implications of what youve said. 


you are asserting that i should feel safer being surrounded by people who feel the need to conceal a weapon?


you are clearly a dumb cop or a fat white hick that wishes he was a cop

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@uhuhu  you are the pussy that lives in fear and needs a weapon near their pussy at all times


fuck off and die cop

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@midwestexplorer81  so what?  having a gun ready to blast when you run into a past offender is a must? its like a cops right or something?


you're brainwashed by your ilk


digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@Barny911  so are you a cop? hmm i wonder why lawmakers are also known as policy makers?


hmmm rule, policy, police policie  


all the same lawbreaker

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81 topcommenter

@digitalprotocol The social contract protects us?  Tell me where to get one of these contracts! I don't remember being offered one to sign. 

_Joe_
_Joe_

@digitalprotocol

So to recap your position:

 - You're pissed that they are challenging what appears to be an infraction of the law

 - "laws don't mean shit"

 - apparently "laws-don't-mean-shit-breaking AND laws-don't-mean-shit-abiding citizens are one and the same


Do you even know what your point is anymore, or are you just trolling for the sake of trolling?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

again, laws dont mean shit. these were paid for by gun and cop lobbies


educated citizens disagree with you and your cop friends

LTdslr
LTdslr

@digitalprotocol Regardless of your opinion on the legislation, it doesn't change the fact that it DOES INDEED allow off duty cops to carry, which IS STILL proof that you have NO IDEA what you are talking about, which is indeed, another unoriginal thought.

Here's a link to the Personal Protection Act passed in 2003:

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/?id=624.714

And here's the excerpt that you feel is "garbage" and "paid for by cops," even though cops could already carry without this legislation in place:

Subd. 17 (Which allows people to ban guns in their businesses) says that:

"(g) This subdivision does not apply to:

(1) an active licensed peace officer; or

(2) a security guard acting in the course and scope of employment."
Have a nice day!

LTdslr
LTdslr

@digitalprotocol You are pretty funny. Next time read the laws they're talking about before spouting off on them.

They are not trying to get new power in this instance. The provision allowing them to carry where others can't has been law since 2003. Read a book. Preferably one without pictures...

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@uhuhu ya except the city of MPLS had to pay out to a black male


we know you're a dumb cop



digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@pakrat ya the cop put his gun on this guys head - the guy is as big as duante culpepper, he flipped the cop and beat his ass. then got huge settlement


the cop was drunk and picking fights...with a gun

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran  how is the person who doesnt carry a gun afraid?  seriously, your logic is fucked

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

What are you so afraid of?

LTdslr
LTdslr

@digitalprotocol For someone who advocates against gun violence, you sure are pretty violent yourself!

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