The National FOP calls upon the NFL to change their policy on restricting law enforcement officers from carrying weapons in NFL Stadiums, especially in light of the terrorist attack at a Paris Soccer Stadium.
Please click the photos to read the letters.
Text of letter:
At the start of the 2013 season, your office issued a new directive to all National Football League (NFL) venues prohibiting the lawful carriage of firearms within any NFL facility – including officers, stadiums and practice facilities. This directive applies not only to individuals holding valid concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits but also off-duty and retired law enforcement officers carrying their firearms under the provisions under the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (LEOSA). You may recall the FOP objected very strongly to this policy.
Today, I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge you to rescind this policy which weakens the safety and security of NFL players, personnel and fans. The terrorist attacks and threats of attacks from organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are selecting targets based on the amount of death and injury the can inflict – mass murder and casualty events. Well-attended venues and areas are being deliberately targeted by these radical killers who do not intend or expect to survive the assault. Law enforcement, even when working actively with highly skilled and trained security professionals, cannot be certain that all threats will be detected and neutralized.
As you know, the FOP does not understand and does not agrees with the League on this matter, especially with respect to active and retired law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officers, which you regularly employ to protect teams and the stadiums in which they play, do not suddenly become a security risk if they attend an NFL game on their day off or after they retire. Quite the opposite, having fully trained and sworn law enforcement officers, active or retired, improves the security and safety of the fans attending the game. Active and retired law enforcement officers must meet a much higher standard of qualifications than your average CCW permit-holder and must keep their firearms training up to date continuously. The LEOSA statute requires retired officers to meet active duty standards fro firearms training annually. For all these reasons Congress elected to create an exemption to local and State law prohibiting the carriage of firearms. We ask that you consider such an exemption as well.
Our members are not a security risk to their fellow fans, players or NFL employees. The risk is from terrorist who want nothing more than to kill and injure as many as they can before they are killed themselves. I know you cannot compel all venues and facilities to change their policies with respect to lawful carriage of firearms, but you can lift the current prohibition which I strongly urge you to do. Out State and local lodges in the 32 NFL cities will reach out to team owners, venue owners, and local businesses to share these concerns of FOP members with respect to this issue.
I thank you in advance for your consideration on the issue and look forward to hearing from you.