Some Cops Want Guns Allowed at Eagles Games

National FOP says armed off-duty cops can prevent terrorism. There are skeptics.

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

The Eagles have lost two straight games at home, the last one a 45-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Fans are pretty angry. And the National Fraternal Order of Police has an idea to make things better: Concealed-carry guns at Lincoln Financial Field every Sunday.

The Buckeye Firearms Association wrote last month about a letter the National Fraternal Order of Police wrote to the NFL, urging the league to drop its blanket anti-gun rule and let off-duty cops who attend games carry their weapons into the stadium.

Philadelphia FOP president John McNesby says “we totally support the National FOP on this issue.”

“Today, I am writing on behalf of the members of the Fraternal Order of Police to urge you to rescind this policy which weakens the safety and security of NFL players, personnel and fans,” National FOP president Chuck Canterbury said. “The terrorist attacks and threats of attacks from organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are selecting targets based on the amount of death and injury they can inflict – mass murder and casualty events.”

The NFL adopted a blanket ban on all guns at NFL games in 2013, though the Texas and Cowboys are exempt as Texas state law supersedes the NFL’s rule; local news reports say many Texas cops carry their guns at all times. A man was shot to death outside the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium during a tailgate party earlier this season.

Canterbury counters that if everyone isn’t allowed to have guns at NFL games, off-duty and retired police officers ought to be allowed to have them at least.

There are skeptics.

“And adding guns to an Eagles game in Philadelphia seems in its potential for extracurricular violence strangely redundant,” Esquire’s Charlie Pierce wrote. Hey! Here in Philadelphia we fire flare guns at games, not regular guns.

Philadelphia passed its own gun laws in 2007, but state law pre-empts local gun law in Pennsylvania.

The NFL says it’s not interested in changing the rule. An NFL spokesperson tells Fox News the league “concluded that public safety inside NFL stadiums on game days would be best-served by the carrying of firearms by on-duty officers specifically assigned to work the game as part of the comprehensive public safety plan for the event. This approach has been certified by the Department of Homeland Security under the SAFETY Act [Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies].”

“Off-duty officers attend games as spectators and are unknown to working law enforcement officers and security personnel,” spokesman Brian McCarthy added. “They may not have the same training and do not participate in the weekly preparation meetings. They are not included in the on-site chain of command. The well-intentioned display or use of guns could have serious unintended and potentially tragic consequences.”