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Texas Law Trumps NFL Policy Prohibiting Armed Off Duty Officers In Stadiums

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A general view of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

A general view of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The National Football League has implemented a new stadium policy that would ban off-duty police officers from carrying guns into games…except in the state of Texas.

According to the NFL memo, “off-duty officers who attempt to bring firearms into an NFL facility will be denied entry.”

But a Texas state law overrides the NFL policy. As long as officers attending the game check in at a specific gate and inform Security where they are sitting – they can have their gun.

Ron Pinkston of the Dallas Police Association says that the Texas law is sensible.

“Our officers are 24/7, on or off duty, and if they run into a critical incident – they are required to take action” says Pinkston. “Our officers will be allowed to carry their weapon into AT&T Stadium and other football stadiums in the State of Texas due to Texas law.”

Police officers often carry their firearms around the clock because of their oath to protect and serve the public on or off duty.

Texas Police Association president Mac Tristan understands why stadium security would want to know where cops with hidden guns are sitting. “I want a specific plan to know where all of my officers are.” says Tristan.

In other parts of the country, the NFL policy only allows law enforcement officers “specifically assigned to work security at the games, or private security officers contracted for stadium protection” to carry a gun.

The NFL says there are enough security personnel at stadiums to handle problems without needing armed off-duty police.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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