Gun control advocates have a simple goal: civilian disarmament. Not total civilian disarmament. They’re OK with armed police who are, lest we forget, civilians. A special class of civilian. They’re not subject to the same gun control laws as you and I. For example, Bush the Younger’s Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act gives active and retired cops 50-state reciprocity. They can carry anywhere, except where prohibited by law. Like . . .
Minnesota Vikings’ U.S. Bank Stadium. Or any other stadium when the National Football League is banking billions showcasing their drug-enhanced employees. An exclusion up with which off-duty Gopher State cops could not put!
[Note: U.S. Bank Stadium is not private property. It was financed with taxpayer money: $348 million from the state, $150 million from Minneapolis. It’s run by the quasi-governmental Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority ,whose execs used “sky boxes” to reward Democratic donors.]
The police unions working in The Land of 10,000 Lakes (and a few billion mosquitos) convinced the state legislature to fix that problem. You know…the one which prevents ANY legally armed civilian (not hired by the NFL to protect patrons) from carrying their firearm to a Viking’s game.
The discussion stems from the Minnesota Citizens’ Personal Protection Act, [link added, of course] which became law 14 years ago. It expanded the right of permitted gun owners to carry guns in public.
As part of that law, privately-owned establishments were empowered to keep guns out by posting a sign indicating they banned guns on the premises. That includes places like malls, restaurants and sports stadiums.
But confusion over the law has meant some off-duty officers were prevented from keeping their firearms when they thought they could, said Dennis Flaherty, executive director of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association.
In 2015, the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld a National Football League restriction that limited gun possession to on-duty officers and hired security.
As a result, off-duty officers weren’t allowed to bring firearms into games they were attending as fans.
The bill that passed committee Tuesday, which Flaherty’s group supports, would override any such policy.
So off-duty Minnesota cops look likely to get a carve-out from the Viking stadium gun ban, whereas “average” gun owners have to walk to and from the game unarmed. And watch the game without their personal defense weapon. Because . . . ?
Flaherty said off-duty law enforcement don’t know when they’ll have to spring into action. He cited last year’s St. Cloud mall attack by a man wielding a knife.
A part-time cop who was at Crossroads Center fatally shot the man after he had injured 10 people.
“If this attacker had not been encountered by the trained, armed, off-duty police officer who was capable of confronting him,” Flaherty said, “the attacker would have certainly harmed or killed many more people.”
And what if the St. Cloud mall wasn’t a “gun free zone.” What if — I’m just spitballing here — the first person that Dahir Adan attacked in that incident had been armed? Or their partner? Or one of the next nine non-cop civilians?
Pay no attention to those gun rights behind that curtain! Law enforcement officers are “the only ones” qualified for armed response to an imminent, credible threat of grievous bodily harm or death. Which is one of the key rationales behind all gun control.
Needless to say, the cop carve-out will pass; both political parties are on board.