Joe Doakes from Como Park writes in re the Minnesota police union’s lawsuit against the NFL for barring off-duty officers from carrying their firearms at games:

The NFL says only on-duty peace officers can carry during football games.  An off-duty officer was relieved of his weapon at TCF Stadium.

The trial court held the NFL cannot exclude him from carrying his weapon because the Minnesota permit-to-carry law doesn’t give property owners that right.

The Court of Appeals punted.  It says the permit-to-carry law doesn’t apply to cops, on duty or off, so that particular law doesn’t determine whether the property owner must admit them, or can refuse to admit them.

Other laws may apply so the case was sent back for a do-over.

Personally, it seems to me that an off-duty cop should be in the same category as a permitted carrier –  trusted to carry a weapon by society, but maybe not trusted by the property owner, so if it wants to turn us both away, that’s its right.   It’s also possible the legislature could have intended off-duty cops to be treated differently from permitted carriers, so I think the appeals court decided correctly when it sent the case back.

Joe Doakes

It’s a dilemma for a judge; how to serve both political correctness and the state’s monopoly on force.

4 thoughts on “Punt

  1. I’d be much more worried being around armed, beer swilling, off duty coppers than I would any CWP holder in any condition.

    If you’ve never had the treat of observing armed, beer swilling, off duty coppers, I suggest you head down to Allery’s bar in downtown St. Paul on a Friday night…say around 7:00 pm, or any weekend day when the Bears are playing.

  2. But if you applied the carry law, the NFL is not the property owner, they are the tenant. The Metropolitan Sports Authority is the owner, IIRC. And the tenant is allowed to deny permit holders from carrying.

  3. The tenant is allowed to deny entry to people who are carrying guns under the authority of the Permit To Carry law, Minn. Stat. 624.714.

    Off-duty cops are not carrying under the authority of the Permit To Carry law. That particular law doesn’t apply to cops at all. So tenants can’t use that particular law to exclude cops, on duty or off.

    There may be other laws that the tenant can use to exclude off-duty cops, but those laws weren’t under consideration at this stage of the lawsuit which is why it got sent back to the trial court.

  4. “The Metropolitan Sports Authority is the owner, IIRC”. That has me wondering who is the owner of record, State government, or the Wilf’s? If it is the state that owns the property aren’t they precluded from restricting legal carry? I understand it would mean an expensive test case, but they aren’t a courthouse or jail.

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