San Diego Padres Ban Concealed Carry For Off-Duty Cops

Petco Padres Park (Lenny Ingelzi / Associated Press)
Lenny Ingelzi / Associated Press

Opening Day at Petco field marked the implementation of the San Diego Padres’ new concealed carry policy, which bans off-duty and former cops from carrying concealed weapons for self-defense.

Padres’ vice president of business administration and general counsel Erik Greupner said their decision is the result of a Major League Baseball (MLB) ruling that all stadiums install metal detectors by 2015. On January 21, 2014, the New York Daily News reported MLB’s ruling, which reflected “the Department of Homeland [Security’s ongoing effort] to standardize security practices across the game.”

The Padres decided that with metal detectors at every instance, the benefit of off-duty and former cops carrying guns was annulled.

According to U-T San Diego, the Padres are the last of five ballparks in California to ban concealed firearms. Before implementing the ban, team reps talked “with local law enforcement leaders–including San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Sheriff Bill Gore, Escondido police Chief Chris Carter and representatives from two law enforcement unions–who accepted [it].”

A San Diego Sheriff’s Department spokesman said:

The Padres determined that they would be the only MLB ballpark in California to allow concealed firearms in the ballpark, which would place the organization in peril from a liability perspective if there is ever an injury or incident involving a concealed firearm at Petco Park.

On July 22, 2004, President George W. Bush signed the “Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act”–an act that “authorizes off-duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the country, with limitations.” The Padres point to “private property” as one of those limitations, and because they are “part owners” of the stadium they are exercising their ability disarm off-duty and former cops.

On October 7, 2013, Breitbart News reported that the National Football League banned concealed carry for off-duty police at its games as well. Police unions slammed the decision, saying you never know when something is going to go wrong and a cop has to be ready to be cop, whether in uniform or not.

NFL head of security Jeff Miller saw it differently. He said, “The likelihood that there’s a need for the use of force by an off-duty officer is extremely remote.”

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