Off-duty cops want their guns in NFL stadiums


New National Football League rules ban off-duty police officers from having guns in NFL stadiums, despite the objections of some officers, who say that their firearms make stadiums safer – not more dangerous.

A Sept. 11, 2013 letter from the league to team owners and presidents noted that that firearms are strictly prohibited inside NFL facilities, prompting dissent from police groups around the country, including in Baltimore and Cleveland.

A Chicago police rep called the rule "an insult." Police in Texas say state law there supersedes the NFL rule and protects their right to carry – so they plan to ignore the ban.

Add the Minneapolis Police Federation to the list of the irritated, WCCO reports. They cite Minnesota law that gives officers full police powers 24/7, allowing them to carry guns in public places.

Federation President John Delmonico said he was seeking more guidance from the state attorney's office. “In today’s world, active shooter cases around the country, schools, churches, malls, you know, stadiums, we’re fully trained. We know what to do, we know how to do it, and having licensed police officers in area like that armed, I think can be very beneficial, ” Delmonico told WCCO.

In a related story, state Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, objects to a clause in the freshly inked lease agreement for the new Vikings stadium that bans a number of vendors from setting up shop in the facility, including adult stores, head shops, pawn shops and gun stores. Garofalo specifically objects to the gun-store ban, fearing it might also ban hunting expos or other outdoorsmen events from the new $975 million facility.

In other stadium news:

The Star Tribune reports that a legal dispute landed in court on Monday over the Downtown East plaza next to the Metrodome. The dispute, between plaza landowner Minneapolis Venture LLC and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority. They are arguing over a 2003 agreement that permits Vikings gameday events on the public plaza until Oct. 31, but not after, the newspaper notes. So at issue is whether Vikings fans would be able to party on the plaza for the team’s four home games in November and December.

WCCO has a story about the tight deadline for destruction of the Dome after this season. The day after the last home game, workers will begin hauling away whatever isn't bolted down, WCCO reports. There won't be a dramatic implosion. The dome roof will be deflated and hauled away first, and then the walls will come down in sections. Some pieces of the stadium, including seats, will be sold off over several months, stadium officials have said.

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