Ky. House Bill would trump weapons bans aimed at off-duty police - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. House Bill would trump weapons bans aimed at off-duty police officers

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Should private venues be allowed to prohibit off-duty police officers from carrying guns?

An incident in Louisville has a local lawmaker taking action. The bill filed this week was prompted by an incident at the Louisville Palace last December.

Two off-duty police officers were denied entry into a concert, unless they left their handguns behind.

Live Nation, the owner of the Palace, has a strict 'no-weapons' rule for every event, from Bonnie Raitt to Tony Bennett.

That rule conflicts with LMPD policy, which requires officers to be armed at all times.

“Sworn duties don't take a break,” said Rep. Denny Butler (R-Louisville), an ex-police officer himself.

He has filed a bill to address the issue. House Bill 327 would allow off-duty officers in good standing to carry their weapons anywhere they can carry them while on duty.

“If we see a fight that takes place we can't just stand by, whether we're on duty or off duty. So, now we're asking policemen to go and interact with a violent situation not being armed,” said Butler.

Democrat Steve Riggs of Louisville has filed a similar bill that includes retired officers.

“I don't think it’s appropriate to ask them step in harm’s way if they don't they have all the tools they need to enforce the law,” Butler told WDRB.

Butler says this is not just about supporting police, but also about public safety.

“With what's going on across the country and in the world, who better to have in public places than a policeman,” he said.

Live Nation said it would have no comment.

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