Last week, a number of off-duty Louisville police officers were barred from entering a concert at the Louisville Palace because the guns they were carrying violated the Palace’s “No Firearms” policy. The problem is, LMPD has a policy that requires them to be armed at all times – even when they’re off-duty. No exceptions.
I have absolutely no problem with the Palace imposing a handgun ban at their events – for civilians. As I’ve often said, I see no reason why private businesses – or government agencies, for that matter – shouldn’t be able to keep firearms off their premises, as long as the ban isn’t enforced in a discriminatory way.
But these are police officers, who I’m confident can be trusted to be as responsible with their guns when off-duty as they are while in uniform. And besides, as Police Chief Steve Conrad said, “We would think most businesses would welcome armed and well trained police officers, on or off-duty, to help out should there be a problem.”
And as for the reasonable concern regarding alcohol consumption at such a venue while armed, LMPD regulations are extremely stringent, forbidding any measurable level of intoxication that would interfere with an officer’s ability to carry out his or her duty.
Our police officers work hard and deserve to enjoy the same off-duty activities as the rest of us, and I encourage the Palace to rethink its policy.
I’m Bill Lamb and that’s my Point of View.