The Fraternal Order of Police encourages the NFL to allow off-duty and retired police officers to carry concealed during games.
The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has asked the National Football League (NFL) to allow for certain fans to carry concealed weapons during games. The NFL hosts games on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays throughout the season. Most of these games pack huge stadiums full of excited fans. It’s not uncommon for these stadiums to host 75,000 or more people per game. According to ESPN, the 2016 season saw stadium attendance average between 54,500 in Oakland and 93,400 in Dallas.
A recent letter sent by the FOP asks NFL officials to rescind their current policy on concealed weapons. The policy bans concealed carry holders from possessing a weapon during games. FOP President, Chuck Canterbury, argued in the letter that armed cops are the best bet for stopping a terrorist attack inside a stadium. The letter goes on to say that the current policy weakens the safety and security of those at the stadium.
Canterbury continues, saying, “Well-attended venues are areas being deliberately targeted by the radical killers who do not intend or expect to survive the assault.”
The NFL Responds
NFL Spokesperson Brian McCarthy recently responded to the issue in an interview with Fox News. During the interview, McCarthy suggested that the approach taken by the NFL is certified by the Department of Homeland Security. Further, he says the policies in place at the NFL meat the SAFETY Act requirements.
McCarthy and the NFL believe the security concerns are best addressed by on-duty officers. This includes uniformed police officers as well as unarmed civilian security guards. The NFL also argues off-duty officers would be indistinguishable from other fans. They believe uniformed officers might mistakenly assume an off-duty officer is a threat.
What are your thoughts? Should the NFL allow off-duty and retired police officers to carry at games? Would you feel safer or in more danger?