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The terrorist attacks on Paris that left 130 dead and hundreds more injured could have been even worse had a security guard at the Stade de France not turned one of the bombers away at the gate.

This failed attack has been seized upon by police unions and groups across the U.S. who are now asking the NFL to reconsider its policy of allowing off-duty and retired officers to enter stadiums while carrying a gun.


According to CBS News, the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio were the first group to make the suggestion, sending a letter (in comic sans) to the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals "asking them to rescind a policy that prohibits lawful carriage of firearms by off duty and retired law enforcement officers."

Ohio FOP President Jay McDonald cited Paris in the letter and concluded:

“As law enforcement officers, our number one priority is keeping the public safe,” McDonald said. “We have the training and equipment and it would be a terrible tragedy for an off duty or retired officer to be in the right place but lack the ability to save lives.”

In support of the Ohio FOP, the national arm of the group asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to rescind the ban, which has only been in place since 2013 because it "weakens the safety and security of NFL players, personnel and fans" league-wide.

The Detroit Police Officers Association has petitioned the hometown Lions as well.


The NFL has argued in the past against allowing off-duty police at games, saying the average game features 500 private security guards and 150 on-duty local law enforcement.  The league won an appeal in August over a lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis after an off-duty officer was required to surrender his gun before entering a Minnesota Vikings game.

NFL stadiums are home to lots of crime already. In 2013, KIRO-TV in Seattle reported that the vast majority of crimes committed at NFL games went unreported. The station counted 3,415 incidents at San Francisco 49ers home games alone, including 201 fights and 23 felony arrests. That works out to over 25 fights per game.


The rules about concealed carry in public places that sell alcohol vary from state to state, but it's likely that if the NFL were to reverse its policy, the model state would be Virginia, which allows concealed carry in bars and restaurants but only if gun holders remain sober. How that would be policed is another matter.

David Matthews operates the Wayback Machine on—hop on. Got a tip? Email him:

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