The National Football League passed a new rule that bans off-duty police officers from bringing guns inside stadiums – but Texas has chosen to adhere to the policy in its own way.
The sunsets past AT&T Stadium on October 6, 2013 in Arlington, Texas (Getty Images)
Texas state law states that so long as off-duty law enforcement officers check in at specific gates and let stadium employees know where they’ll be sitting, they will be allowed to carry a firearm, according to KTXA-TV.
This flies in the face of an NFL memo that declares that off-duty officers who “attempt to bring firearms into an NFL facility will be denied entry."
Ron Pinkston of the Dallas Police Association told KTXA that he think the law is “sensible” and prudent.
“Our officers are 24/7, on or off duty, and if they run into a critical incident – they are required to take action” he said. “Our officers will be allowed to carry their weapon into AT&T Stadium and other football stadiums in the State of Texas due to Texas law.”
Off-duty police officers in Texas often carry their firearms everywhere they go because of their oath to “protect and serve the public,” he said.
Mac Tristan, president of the Texas Police Association, told KTXA the rule that requires off-duty police officers to inform stadium employees as to their whereabouts makes sense.
“I want a specific plan to know where all of my officers are,” Tristan said.
Meanwhile, in other stadiums around the country, the NFL policy only allows law enforcement officers “specifically assigned to work security at the games, or private security officers contracted for stadium protection” to carry a firearm.
The reasoning behind the NFL’s firearm policy in the first place?
The NFL believes its stadiums already provide adequate security and, therefore, that armed off-duty police officers are unnecessary.
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This post has been updated.