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NYPD Union Head Lambastes Decision to Ban Off-Duty Cops From Bringing Guns to Pope Francis Events

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"Any member with a firearm will be excluded from the event."

Off-duty NYPD officers have been banned from bringing guns to events surrounding Pope Francis' New York City visit this week — a decision that is being derided by the head of the city's police union.

"All members of the service who plan to attend a papal event while off-duty are hereby advised that firearms will not be permitted," read an internal NYPD memo, according to the New York Daily News. "Any member with a firearm will be excluded from the event."

But Pat Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, put out a statement decrying this decision, which was announced in a September 22 memo, as one that is both "dangerous" and "foolish."

NYPD memo to police

"Our officers are fully trained professionals who are on-duty around the clock and would represent additional response resources in the event of an emergency," Lynch said in a statement. "Limiting their ability to intervene is foolish and flies in the face of common sense and public safety. It reduces the city's ability to protect his Holiness, it doesn't enhance it." 

Civilians will also not be permitted to carry firearms, Newsweek reported.

(H/T: New York Daily News)

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