Minnesota cops sue NFL over gun ban at games

Minnesota cops sue NFL over gun ban at games

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 [email protected]

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