Minnesota police sue to bring guns to NFL games

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An association representing Minnesota police officers is suing the National Football League over a policy that prohibits off-duty officers from bringing their weapons into an NFL stadium, the Associated Press reports.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, which represents more than 8,500 police officers and county deputy sheriffs, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Hennepin County court. The suit claims the firearms ban violates state law.

The NFL enacted a policy in September 2013 to ban firearms in all NFL facilities unless the person is providing security. Police officers in NFL cities around the country objected to the ban, including Minneapolis police.

The association says the ban means off-duty law enforcement officers cannot bring their weapons into football stadiums. Many off-duty officers carry their firearms with them at all times, so they can be prepared to respond to emergencies.

"By prohibiting licensed police officers from maintaining possession of their service weapon, the National Football League not only violates the law, but places the public and law enforcement at unnecessary risk while impairing the legal status of police officers, the very people willing to put their lives on the line to protect the public every day," said Dennis Flaherty, Executive Director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.

The NFL has not responded to a request for comment.

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