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Anonymous Cop

Anonymous Cop is a veteran police officer in a big city Midwestern police department.



Mark Clark

Mark Clark

Mark Clark is the public information officer for a law enforcement agency in the southwest. He is also a photographer and contributor to POLICE Magazine.
Patrol

The Aurora Tragedy and Off-Duty Carry

Some movie theaters not only bar civilians from carrying guns but also off-duty officers. Maybe Aurora has taught them a lesson.

July 23, 2012  |  by - Also by this author

Like many of you, I spent the weekend often thinking about the tragedy in Aurora, Colo. After the initial gut-punch sensation at hearing the news, the next thing that struck me was the remarkable response time of the Aurora Police Department. One would not want to envision how much worse things might have been  absent their ability to heroically corral the shooter and obtain intel regarding his heavily booby-trapped room.

But even with that incredible response time, the shooter was able to tally up the highest number of victims in America's sordid history of mass shooters. In the hours following the incident, officers across the country posted their thoughts on Facebook, Police_L and elsewhere. Much ensuing debate revolved around speculation about the presence or absence of any armed patrons inside the theater and what impact an off-duty cop might have brought to bear on the matter.

It's a valid topic for discussion, not only as it relates to theater patronage, but as it pertains to officers frequenting any public or private establishment.

It is unlikely that many on-duty or off-duty cops could have conceivably been in a theoretical position to stop the Virginia Tech or Columbine massacres, unless they were school officers, guest lecturers, members of the faculty, or students themselves.

But I can point to those instances where off-duty officers have mitigated the loss of life and stopped such threats. It was a Texas Department of Public Safety officer who chased the Luby's shooter into a restroom where the man killed himself.  It was an off-duty Ogden, Utah, police officer who intervened at the Salt Lake City Trolley Square Mall shooting. It was the tagteam effort of two civilian on-duty police sergeants that ended Nidal Malik Hasan's shooting rampage at Fort Hood.

Being a paranoid-in-training, I have often thought that a movie theater is an ideal shooting gallery, as filmgoers are effectively boxed in, hemmed in, and seated. That was why I was surprised to hear that a majority of the Aurora audience was able to escape at least physically unscathed. Had the shooter opened fire at the some of the theaters I know of, the sole exit would have been through him. Such realities factor in my decision to carry whenever I see a film or patronize locations where groups of people are known to congregate.

That isn't to say any officer confronting the Aurora shooter wouldn't have had his hands full. Not only would he or she have been going up against a formidably armed man, but one who had taken the time to fortify himself with head-to-toe ballistic armor.

But whether an off-duty officer might succeed in even taking the suspect out, in engaging the man an off-duty officer would possibly avail others invaluable seconds in which to escape while the shooter's attention was otherwise engaged.

Despite this truth, many businesses prohibit officers from carrying their firearms with them while off-duty. Incredibly, some even solicit the patronage of police officers and their families for "Public Service Appreciation" events before telling them to leave their firearms outside the park. To my mind, this is remarkably short-sighted, not only for the reasons previously discussed but it deprives them of a supplementary response force in the event of an emergency.

If I were one of the people responsible for establishing such prohibitions, I would be far less concerned about whether a police officer carried his handgun into a venue than the manner in which he or she carried it. No one wants a cop to leave his or her weapon behind and accessible to children and actual dirtbags. But going so far as to telling officers they cannot carry their duty weapons inside?

I look at it this way: If I comply with the request of an unarmed representative of the Admission Gate Task Force asking me to secure my weapon inside my vehicle or elsewhere, it is because I choose to. I can, and have just declined to do so and opted for some other entertainment.

But how much mileage would such a request get from some psycho intent on behaving badly? Do you think he is going to comply? And should he choose not to, how effective is your unarmed cadre of personnel going to be at stopping him from doing what he came to do in the first place?

One of the few truly intelligent things I have seen come out of Washington this past decade was the LEOSA legislation that allowed officers to carry in states outside their jurisdictions. If our government, many of whom represent a far-left constituency hell-bent against firearms, can recognize the valid need to allow armed carry for peace officers across state lines, then one would hope that the owners of sports arenas, concert venues, amusement parks, and other heavily patronized establishments would see the light as well. But thus far, many haven't.

For my part, I often end up sneaking my sidearm inside while security knocks themselves out rifling through the wife's purse and the kid's backpack. But it shouldn't have to be this way.

I am anxious to hear from you your thoughts on both the Aurora shooting and whether or not officers should be allowed to carry irrespective of the philosophy of an establishment's management. Are there some legitimate liability concerns I am not seeing here? And if there isn't, what can we do to change this ill-considered notion of keeping officers from carrying inside the places they patronize?

Maybe we can start a boycott list…

Related:

Colo. Shooting Suspect Appears Dazed In First Court Appearance

Observant SWAT Cops, Jammed Gun Saved Lives In Colo. Shooting

Colo. Gun Range Owner: James Holmes Was 'Creepy, Weird'

Tags: Active Shooters, Off-Duty Incidents, 2012 Aurora Shooting


Comments (78)

Displaying 1 - 78 of 78

JS @ 7/23/2012 9:29 AM

I agree that officers should be allowed to carry anywhere they go! I personally do not go places where I am not allowed to carry my duty weapon. If I go to an establishment that requires me to leave my weapon behind my family and I leave. I would like to see a list put together of places that prohibit officers from carrying their weapon. I will boycott it and pass it onto those in my department!

SM @ 7/23/2012 9:38 AM

Agreed, we shoul be allowed to carry at all times, period. I simply make sure my weapon is well hidden, and go anyway.

Rev. Lowrey @ 7/23/2012 11:20 AM

I'm surprised to find all LEOs are not required to carry at all times. I think that has always been mandatory in my home town (Detroit). Still, I think extra training should be also mandatory for responding to chaotic situations, especially when off duty. Armed civilians should also have mandated crisis training. I wonder if it is actually legal for any individual or business to prohibit what is a constitutionally guaranteed right? I know prohibitive laws have been passed, but are they legal? I also wonder about how LE responds to people refusing to comply with a blatantly illegal law - like one that directly contradicts the Bill of Rights? (such as "free speech zones", open carry, etc.)

Ryan @ 7/23/2012 11:31 AM

I am someone who tends to be on the left side of the political spectrum. However, I think it is incomprehensible that any establishment would even challenge a off-duty police officer. An officer is an officer regardless of the clothes they are wearing. Why would I not want them armed? Certainly barring a thorough scanning process there is no way for these establishment owners to know how many "less-than-honorable" people have just walked in with their firearms. If it looks & sounds stupid it is stupid.

Jean Phillips @ 7/23/2012 11:49 AM

I cannot think of a time or place that I would be uncomfortable having off-duty police officers carrying. The training in police academies is superb. And, officers must routinely re-qualify at the shooting range. LEO's should be allowed (or required) to carry any time and anywhere.

Paul @ 7/23/2012 12:59 PM

I am impressed with the Aurora Police response time, coordination and overall control of this horrible incident. This gun control issue is still a heated debate but overall if more of these thugs and violent criminals knew that more and more citizens (not just the cops) were carrying off duty I do believe there might just be a drop in many crimes. However, it is imperative that a citizen (or officer) employ strong, safe tactics as much as possible when attempting to "stop" an armed shooter or deadly suspect, especially in a situation where there is a crowd. "May that first shot be smooth off the trigger, sights alligned, and make it count." Crudos to all of the citizens and officers who have intercepted and stopped these criminals even after they have killed innocent folks. Dean, excellent point you made about even if the officer would have trouble in a gunfire exchange with a suspect that has body armour, it still could have afforded precious seconds for citizens to escape. Thanks for this article.....

Jimz @ 7/23/2012 2:13 PM

Being a retired LEO and having my lifetime (as long as I qualify yearly) carry permit rights, I agree that boycotting venues that deny LEO concealed carry is not only a great idea, but a sound one.

Who knows, as in this situation, when you are called to duty? We have all been there; if not, think hard about it.

Cecilio Mendez @ 7/23/2012 3:05 PM

The realities outside the confines of this well written article - with which I am in total agreement - are troubling. There are LEO's who, willingly, do not carry firearms while off-duty. There are LEO's who, obediently, comply with some cockamamie "gun free zone" regulations, most of which are illegal and capricious. The LEOSA should be amended (again) to include some kind of fine, punishment or mandate against ALL privately owned businesses, who post/favor/require any limitation on legally-owned and carried firearms in their premises by LEO's and honest -and well trained- citizenry. There is no right way to bring order into chaos, but when those crazed cowards, those who shoot innocent people, start receiving return fire; the carnage will be reduced, may even be stopped then and there.

Doug M. @ 7/23/2012 6:03 PM

I almost never am unarmed, and certainly not willingly. I have a collection of carry licenses from various states and my (retired) LEOSA ID. It is rare that I carry less a Glock 33 with a reload, a good flashlight, cell and knife.

Eric Ellersieck @ 7/23/2012 6:10 PM

Because I largely agree with private property rights I think businesses should be able to ban armed people from their property. That said it my right to refuse to pattonize that business and encourage others to do the same. In addition, there is the perception of liability by a business allowing carry, why not enforcing the liability of prohibiting carry when there is no real security on site capable of preventing a mass shooting?

Lenny @ 7/23/2012 6:20 PM

Regarding LEOSA, it doesn't apply to *all* LE personnel, and that needs to be addressed. Private univ. PDs, railroad PDs (Aside from Amtrak), and probably some others are specifically not included, as they do not fall under the "...member of a government agency..." part.

That being said, I've called every state/city i've visited since it was enacted and explained my "private university" status (that i have a state police commission for) and they've all said to bring my gun. Kudos.

Regarding the whole private owned business thing... i do agree that we should be carrying- and allowed to carry- everywhere, but if i owned a business then "my house, my rules." I also agree with boycotting those who outwardly don't allow us to carry there. I just don't think we can "make" them let us.

Personal experience, I've found most places welcome your attendance- especially if armed- because of common sense... they know there's a good guy, ready to do his job, right there several steps away. who wouldn't want that??

Sam Piccinini @ 7/23/2012 6:34 PM

I agree with everything you say about an armed LEO or civillian thowing a monkey wrench into this joker's plan. Im also in favor that if a school goes through the trouble of implementing securty, that they should be armed.

I am a police officer, tactical officer and firearms instructor. my fellow officers have heard me say this many times over and it is the bottom line. The only way to stop a mad man with a gun is with another gun...period!!!

Jerry @ 7/23/2012 6:59 PM

Lets face it... Businesses and zones that prohibit firearms might as well change their sign from "Gun Free Zone" to say "Criminal Safe Zone" !!! If the bad guys know the good guys are unarmed what better place for them (the bad guys) to go into and shoot at innocent people? That is exactly what happened in Colorado. Imagine if even one single person had been armed and trained... just one. Colorado has liberal ccw laws compared to other jurisdictions and yet still no one was in a position to fight back... why, because it was a Criminal Safe Zone and firearms (those life saving devices we issue to all LEO's) were prohibited !!! What chance do people in New York, Chicago (murder capitol of the USA) or California have? NONE !!! No chance at all. Ccw's should be allowed in all 50 states. I do think that people who get ccw's should train up to a higher level not just a 2 or 4 hour class. If you want to carry, great but train up to it. Learn to shoot on the move, clear malfunctions, train to shoot with your non dominant hand, recognize threats, use cover and concealment. Why... to potentially save your life and the lives of others when there is no one else there to protect you. Its a scary world out there and no one knows better than we armed professionals.

Walkin trails @ 7/23/2012 7:31 PM

Take this into consideration: that piece of work dressed head to toe in more body armor than most of us ever wear. He was harmed with more firearms and ammo than practically any of us carry going into harms way. He got outside after he committed this heinous crime and gave up to Police without a fight. He did not want to get hurt! If someone in that theater had been armed and returned fire, he might have stopped in his tracks and run screaming out the door even if bullets failed to find a soft spot. I don't want to second guess any more than anyone else does in the wake of this tragedy, but things could have been different. I carry just about everywhere. I can imagine a security guard or employee of an establishment that bars off duty or CCWs thinking he was a cop and letting him in. Carry. Carry a reload. Carry a light source. Carry something that can restrain. Stay out of condition white. Be confident in your ability.

Rick @ 7/23/2012 7:45 PM

Let's remember that the Luby's thug could have been stopped cold by a civilian CCW holder that was present at the restaraunt, only she left her gun in her car as required by the law. She lost both her parents in the shooting and later became a Congresswoman championing firearms legislation. Now that LEO's have the right to carry nationwide, it's high time that civilians have the right to carry nationwide also so that us former LEO's and civilians alike can defend themselves instead of depending upon a patchwork set of laws that changes state to state.

John @ 7/23/2012 7:49 PM

Just my opinion: business owners are responsible for protecting their customers. If a venue such as a theatre is going to ban firearms (carried by off duty l.e.o.s. or trained & licensed civilians) inside their building then laws should be passed where they are required to hire security screeners plus armed security guards or police officers.

C.G.Ellis @ 7/23/2012 8:00 PM

As a Retired LEO, I fully support not only LEO, but Civilian Carry as well. what we really need is a Federal CCW, or reciprosity between all states, as Retired LEO's have. I personally support open RESPONSABLE CARY FOR All. You are correct, if just one LEO or Civilian with th couarage to stop the madman, many lives could have been saved.

S.Tate @ 7/23/2012 8:13 PM

I'm currently the Sec.Dir for a private country club, and have been an armed Sec. officer for 25 years. My current employer, a few years ago, decided to go unarmed because, as he said, "We don't want to risk people getting hurt." <blink><blink> Can ANYONE explain that to me? I've tried to explain that if an officer pulls his firearm, it's to SAVE lives, but it's like talking to a brick wall. The only explanation I have is way to many people honestly see the firearm as the problem. So they ban cops and other professionals from carrying their guns because, after all, those are the only people they CAN control. It make them feel safer, which is odd because they're actually in greater danger. But facts don't matter...feelings do. They FEEL safer, so they THINK they're safer. Then, an incident like Aurora occurs and what is their response? "Take more guns away!" It's ludicrous.

Jeremy Young @ 7/23/2012 9:28 PM

Regardless of the establishments policies, I believe that it is the absolute reasons like this that Officers should be allowed to carry. After all, they are supposed to be an Officer 24/7, 365 a year (366 if you count leap year). So what if another incident like this occurs? Are we to sit back and just be taken with all the rest, or are we to go in full force, protect the public we swore to protect at all times, on or off duty, regardless of any policies? That is the question that needs to be posed on business owners, especially establishments that hold a lot of people, like theaters, malls, recreation areas, like public pools and places like that. I remember the Officer, who lives and works for another agency 1 hour north of Salt Lake City, in Ogden, did what he could to help out in the Trolley Square Mall there in Salt Lake City. Just so happened that they were there as a family hanging out. He, along with many other Utah Law Enforcement Officers, was carrying off-duty. Being that as it may, he was there to help put a stop to Sulejman Talović and that incident. Once I am able to get there to Utah and become an Officer there, I hope to do the same thing and carry wherever I go, so that if I need to be there to assist or if I am in a deadly encounter with a suspect, I will be prepared and ready for it. That is what needs to happen all over the country. Policies should reflect this and businesses should not be allowed to tell Off-Duty Police Officers that they cannot carry on premises.

Tom Ret @ 7/23/2012 10:00 PM

Instead of encouraging officers or law abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons some people are demanding more gun control after this incident. You probably know who they are. They apparently don't understand that places like Chicago, where strict gun control is in effect, violent crime is in full swing as the gangs mostly ignore the gun laws and the unarmed law abiding citizens are left defenseless. There are laws against booby traps and homemade bombs. They didn't deter this suspect from building them.

. They think that laws will prevent this from happening again. Chicago and other cities have proved them wrong but they rarely consider the facts.

Morning Eagle @ 7/23/2012 11:20 PM

I said this in response to the first article I saw on 20 July and haven't changed my mind. [Had there been just one person in there that could return fire, even if they couldn't make a head shot but hit him on his body armor he would have instantly realized he was being shot at and would have possibly, probably, fled. Anyone that has been hit on their body armor can testify that it will immediately get your attention even though it didn't kill you. This will unfortunately give those opposing firearms ownership more grist for their mill and with the willing help of the media will be really “making hay" over it. This is so senseless and so very sad for all the families involved.] If he didn’t immediately flee he would have been interrupted and distracted, maybe long enough for someone to take him down.

I agree that "gun free zones" are "criminal safe" zones. That includes schools, church, post office, military bases and you name it. Attacks have occurred in all of those places. To believe a sign saying a firearm cannot be brought on the premises will deter anyone with criminal intent is being in a state of denial almost beyond comprehension to anyone with a lick of common sense and awareness of the world we live in today. Sure the property owner has the right to restrict but that is not the point. LEO's and trained cc license holders should carry basically all the time because it is so obvious that when or where these incidents may happen is unpredictable. The attitude of some companies that claim they want security provided but refuse to allow the tools that would help ensure a more secure facility is so naive. The real world seems to be beyond their ability to comprehend.

A question some are asking is who provided or how otherwise did this unemployed person obtain the expensive, weapons, ammo and bomb making materials plus the training on how to set sophisticated, potentially deadly booby traps. Was this truly a loner operation?

Dan @ 7/23/2012 11:42 PM

In the end, in an Active Shooter situation, it comes down to, the first gun onsite is the first responder. Whether they be LEO, Security or a CCW civilian. I am both a Security Contractor and a CCW civilian, for over 20 years and more than 1000 hours of training. In other words I am a Sheepdog. I will do whatever is neccessary to protect the sheep around me from wolves! I believe even the most liberal anti-gun person in that theater, would want to be protected from that maniac, no matter who was doing the protecting. Private property or not, no property owner should ever ask an LEO to leave his firearm behind! I unfortunately must abide by these rules and choose to spend my money elsewhere!

Trigger @ 7/24/2012 4:56 AM

I ran into a situation several years ago at a church that we as a family had been attending for many years. A new pastor was assigned to our church. This individual was transferred from a metropolitian area where the church congregation was huge. Apparently there was a policy within that church/congregation that firearms were not permitted on the church property by anyone including off duty law enforcement.

When I heard about this I was quite disturbed at which point I made an appointment with the pastor to discuss the issue. What I found out was interesting, the pastor previous church's concern was not that off duty law enforcement was carrying weapons during worship services, etc., the concern was how the weapons were carried. The church asked that the off duty officers carry their weapons concealed as to not cause a concern amoung the other church members. This unfortunately was mis understood and the rumor that law enforcement officer could not carry surfaced.

I have talked to local businesses about there concerns of having off duty law enforcement officers carry on their property. What I have found is a lack of knowledge and many time a concern over past incidents of off duty law enforcment officers behaving in manners not acceptable where weapons were exposed to "bully" their way into something or circumvent something.

I think we owe it not only to ourselves but to the profession to take a few minutes to talk with the owners, etc. to see why this decision was made, it may resolve issues that we may not even be aware of.

"The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference. They deserve a place of honor with all that is good. When firearms go, all goes. We need them every hour." - George Washington in address to the 2nd session of united States Congress.

Correction Needed @ 7/24/2012 7:41 AM

The shooting at the Luby's in Killen, Texas was NOT stopped by off-duty Texas Department of Public Safety employees, though that incident is a good example of why officers should ALWAYs carry.

There was a law enforcement training conference of some sort going on at the hotel next to the Luby's and two DPS employees were eating lunch there. Neither was carrying. Both were able to avoid becoming victims.

Two on-duty Killeen PD officers arrived and immediately made entry (and please note, this was well before the advent of "Active Shooter" training; they just did the right thing). They located the gunman, engaged him in a brief exchange of gunfire, wounding the gunman, and the gunman retreated to a bathroom, where he killed himself.

If the DPS employees would have been carrying, the incident could have had a far different outcome.

kcsgator @ 7/24/2012 7:43 AM

I feel that if they are going to write a FEDERAL law that supersedes both State and Local laws, it would be common sense to include the fact that it would supersede INDIVIDUAL law. Now I have HR-218/S-1132 that expands my ability to protect myself and the public when off-duty, but a "business" can block that by a simple sign on their front door?!?

Simply put, the bills need to be updated again to wipe out this error of "private entities" immediately! I, as well as others, don't patronize business with such a ban if at all possible, but that's an unfortunate liability for said business when something like this occurs, and we're not there because they said we're not wanted there!

JM @ 7/24/2012 7:43 AM

I don't care what the signs say, in my 26 years my gun has always gone in with me. If its a place where they search, I tell them I'm a cop. If they tell me to secure my gun or leave, adios... And thanks to HR218, I carry everywhere I travel...

dogooder318 @ 7/24/2012 8:08 AM

I think that all LEO's should be allowed to carry off duty anywhere they choose. I think the issue arises when off duty officers act in a way that is not becoming of an officer when they are off duty. Many of the venues that large crowds gather at serve alcohol and quite frankly many of my co-workers (who have a "work hard, play hard" philosophy) indulge more than I would feel comfortable with if I had to depend on them to take critical incident type action....with authority/power one also has to accept responsibilty and accountibilty. I think that is where many of the objectors make their stand, and reasonably so.

Dean Scoville @ 7/24/2012 10:49 AM

Fwiw, your version of the Luby's shooting approximates that I recall reading at the time of the incident. In a good faith effort to ensure that my memory of the event was accurate, I reviewed contemporary accounts of the incident and deferred to them on the hopes that they were more accurate (just as I found different accounting of the Fort Hood shooting...the male sergeant's role has been criminally under-reported). If you have more intimate knowledge of the Luby's tragedy, I will certainly defer to your story. I just wish there was a Snopes-type fact checking clearing house for such matters.

Federali @ 7/24/2012 12:12 PM

Another reason why we should ALWAYS carry. Like you Dean, I am always amused at the gate checkers who think they are doing a thorough job at looking through the wife's purse, kid's backpack, or even back in the day, dare I say my fanny pack, while I'm carrying nicely concealed on my hip. (The fanny pack had a small back-up in a "hidden" comparment) Some places go with magnetometers though, so I don't go there except in the rarest of occasions. At least I'm not a L.A. Kings, Lakers or Clippers fan, so I only go there for concerts, twice in the past 12 years. They have the right to say they don't want my gun in there, and since my gun(s) is/are an extension of me, I don't go there. Other places that have signs saying no guns, but will only look in bags fine, they didn't specifically ask me if I have a gun, so I don't point to the sign and ask if that applies to LEO's too. It shouldn't have to be this way though. I think a big part of the problem is the venues that serve alcohol and some of us acting in ways that we shouldn't be. If you have to get plastered to enjoy a Dodger game or other event, then don't pack, in fact don't even claim to be an LEO when the on-duty LEO’s come to haul your drunken carcass out, wait until you're being booked for disorderly conduct.

I think too many of the sheep that truly do appreciate the protection us sheep dogs provide just don’t want to ever think about it or see to sheep dog blending in with them. My wife has accepted the differences of living with a sheep dog vs. another sheep, (i.e.: “Give me another minute, I’m deciding which gun/holster to go with”), but she doesn’t like to wat

Martyb @ 7/24/2012 12:38 PM

How is this for a logic twist:
I attended an event at the Anaheim convention center in January of this year. (multiple halls multiple events) In my hall they ran a security screen for the usual, guns, knives, atom bombs. There were no signs were posted about weapons being prohibited and I was surprised when they took my small pocket knife with a 1 1/2" blade. However, my girlfriend carried her pocket knife (3" blade) in her purse which was searched and wanded into the venue without a hitch.

Inside the event one of the vendors was giving away knives for advertising and another vendor was selling them. This was crazy!!1

It's the same liberal/sheep/feel-good mind set that got people killed in Aurora... removing your ability to protect yourself and not removing or preventing the ability of the determined to cause harm.

Glenn @ 7/24/2012 5:34 PM

Guys you have to realize, yes an armed off duty cop would have been a great monkey wrench in the theater, an armed civilian willing to use force and keep a clear head would have been great. But someone in that theater may have been armed and panicked. If you strap a 45 colt to a sheep, guys its still a sheep. Many people carry CCW just for that feeling of security, there are not a real large number of Sheepdogs in the civilian world ready and willing to take a life. Most of the "Sheepdogs" are military and police. Yes there are exeptions.

Ericy Holderboy @ 7/24/2012 8:00 PM

All LEO'S should be allowed to carry off duty nation wide with no exceptions. Training for most situations should be mandatory. The LEOSA law has done a lot to help with the off duty carry. I feel it needs some perfecting as in New York and Chicago where they do not like anyone but their own officers to carry even though LEOSA allows it. But then again I don't go to NYC. God Bless all My Fellow LEO's Be safe Brother!

Sky @ 7/25/2012 6:55 AM

If you're an LEO you should carry off duty at all times and have extra ammo. There should be no question or debate. This doesn't mean be a dead hero or to put our families or others in danger. No one needs to know you are armed until the appropriate time. If any of you work for an agency that doesn't allow off duty carry I feel sorry for you. If I know in advance a venue doesn't allow armed access even to an LEO, they don't get my business.

Federali @ 7/25/2012 3:08 PM

I just noticed my last paragraph got cut short. It should have been:

I think too many of the sheep that truly do appreciate the protection us sheep dogs provide just don’t want to ever think about it or see the sheep dog blending in with them. My wife has accepted the differences of living with a sheep dog vs. another sheep, (i.e.: “Give me another minute, I’m deciding which gun/holster to go with” versus just leaving the house), but she still doesn’t like to watch the news because there is nothing but bad stuff going on out there. Maybe she, and many of the other sheep, don't like the reality of what the world can truly be and feel that if they didn't see it, it didn't happen. And therefore seeing that sheepdogs are out there amongst them, (other than driving by in a marked unit occasionally) just reminds them of the reality they don’t want to face.

To reiterate what Walking trails said, carry, have at least one reload (I prefer 2-3; the only time you can have too much ammunition on you is if you’re on fire or drowning), light, and restraints. It’s not all that hard to do. And remember, it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Let’s be safe.

Great column as usual.

Robocop @ 7/25/2012 6:40 PM

I agree with the other LEO's here. We should be allowed to carry anyplace we choose and I would love to see this also include airlines that fly domestically. I am retired and with all the crazies out here I just do not go anywhere unarmed anymore. I don't care if there are signs or not unless it is a Government establishment. I just carry anyway and don't tell them. My weapon is CONCEALED and they do not know I am carrying.

Rojo @ 7/25/2012 6:56 PM

I personally work with alot of officers that dont carry offduty. I always carry a gun on me no matter what. Wether its my snubby .38 or a full size duty weapon, im always armed because of incidents like this. I dont think mandating officers to carry a gun offduty is the answer, but I dont why an officer wouldnt carry. There are people in some states that dont have the right to carry, and President Bush made it possible for us to carry anywhere anytime, wether its your jurisdiction or not. I dont know about you, but Im not going to be caught with my pants down when an active shooter happens, especially when Im with my family.

Ron Schmitt @ 7/25/2012 6:57 PM

Ron's first rule of survival. You got to be alive to be in trouble. I consider those "no firearms" to be advisory in nature only.

Deputy068 @ 7/25/2012 7:18 PM

I hear you loud and clear on this issue. I saw the interview with the CEO of the firm that owns these theaters (all 458 of them) - no guns allowed is the standing rule. One or two legally armed people (LEO's or CCP civilians) in the audience would have made a world of difference. Vested up or not, you know what happens when you get hit with a round in the vest. It deforms enough to crack a rib and, at best, it knocks the wind right out of you. Based on the info I've seen, he was wearing a standard IIIa level vest - enough to defeat most handgun rounds - but I'm pretty sure he would have felt the 'punch' even a .38 +P round would have delivered. With any luck, any shots fired would have hit just a bit higher and taken him in the mask. Hell, I would love to have backup from a fellow LEO, but I'll sure settle for a properly trained civilian any day!

Vinojason @ 7/25/2012 7:26 PM

Mr. Twain,

I had a discussion with my wife a few hours before this shooting in regards to carrying at church. After 13 years of marriage, 6 of them in you know where and the other as L.E. She had no idea I carry two at all times. I remember an article from Texas (I beleive) about an officer in church who watched family and church members be murdered by a gunman, and the whole time he was wishing he had his gun.

We have two choices in life, to be unprepared and become the victim, or be prepared and at least be given the opportunity to defend ourselves and those around us. No we do not know the outcome of our actions, but if we never do anything the the outcome is placed into the hansds of those who would do us harm. I know where I stand, and I am sure it is by your side and the side if my brothers and sisters out there. God bless you all and keep you safe

Dwayne Juedes @ 7/25/2012 7:30 PM

I am a concealed carry permit holder, however I have some concerns about the average permit holder. I believe everyone with a concealed carry permit should be required to qualify once a year. Making a head shot in a dark theatre is next to impossible especially if you haven't fired your gun since you got your permit 4 years ago. I shoot 100 rounds a week and have been through the defensive shooting academy of Tulsa for their level 1 and 2 advanced combat course's. I don't want to shoot an innocent bystander. Dwayne Juedes

Donn @ 7/25/2012 7:31 PM

I was in an off-duty/CCW shooting early in my careed. Now retired, I don't understand the controversy. Cinemark's "policy" (NOT a law) is no CCW in their theaters. If your weapon is properly concealed, how does anyone know that you have one? If a business makes an issue of it...somehow...simply leave. A national boycott of businesses that openly advertise no CCW is a good idea. Then again, I would be concerned if anyone -- off-duty, retired LEO, or lawful citizen -- left their pistol at home (because of a perceived "rule") and was thereby unable to act in a lethal crisis situation.

Dave @ 7/25/2012 7:51 PM

As an off duty LEO I happened to see the Batman movie the very next night. Yes, I was carrying hidden away on my hip. This at a mall whose management thinks there "gun free zone" makes everyone safe.
Other place where I was specificaly told, by the caretaker, I was not allowed to carry was at a Boy Scout camp. I decided then and there they no longer needed my volunteering or Merit Badge training skills.

TucsonJohn @ 7/25/2012 7:52 PM

My wife and I years ago decided that eating overpriced popcorn in a blackedout room with complete strangers and few exits was tempting fate. Thus we were not surprised to hear about the Colorado massacre. Today the three of us (me, she, and Mr. Glock) very rarely venture into a theater. Instead we (the three of us) usually stay home and watch a movie in our family room.

Joe Doc @ 7/25/2012 7:58 PM

I have been in law enforcement for over 25 yrs and have never carried my gun off-duty. I have been very fortunate to never encounter an off-duty situation where I would have had to use it. I have only drew my weapon a handful of times during the years I worked the streets. I believe carrying a weapon off-duty may subject your love ones to a potential accidental discharge in which innocent persons may be harmed as well as yourself. My daughter is now dating an officer who wants to carry his off-duty on the wake of the movie theater incident. She has expressed her dislike of him carrying a gun in her presence. I have supported my daughter with her decision but I do understand why he now wants to carry his gun, what would be your thoughts on this dilemma, my daughter is only 20 and is not sure what she should do.

wade @ 7/25/2012 8:12 PM

I have been an officer for alomst 24 years. I have only carried off-duty a few times and been very fortunate never to be in a situation that I had to use my weapon. With the way things are going in the world, I might begin to carry off-duty more often. Make it the officers choice weather to carry off-duty or not.

Matt57 @ 7/25/2012 8:38 PM

As a Federeal Law Enforcement Officer whenever i saw a "no guns" sticker on a theater window i would chuckle ruefully and find another cinema. The idea of putting myself in a killbox like that with no way to put down a shooter for good, or long enough to allow civilians to escape, or claw my own way out was one i wouldn't even entertain. As a dedicated LE professional it insults me, kind of like a baby on board sticker. Now someone has heinously exploited the tactical advantage of such a situation to the irreperable detriment of innocent people, and the anti-gun, guns-kill-people-blah-blah-blah ignoramuses (ignoramii?) are knee-jerking the country in the crotch over one nut-case's actions.

RCarney @ 7/25/2012 9:11 PM

HR218- The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a United States federal law, enacted in 2004, that allows two classes of persons—the "qualified law enforcement officer" and the "qualified retired law enforcement officer" -- to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of any state or local law to the contrary, with certain exceptions.

G-Dawg @ 7/25/2012 9:12 PM

As a LEOSA instructor in Arizona, I listen to arguments regarding retired officers and concealed carry throughout the U.S. That said, simply because we are LEOSA certified, there are numerous states that have advised us that they will not honor a LEOSA card.. Shame on them... As a 32 year veteran and still working, I carry my concealed 40 cal in church... "Church!!" you say, Well, read the body count on church slayings in 2012 and 2011. Americans have rights that must be fought for before politicians figure out ways to "tax/fine" us for living in a democracy.. God bless Aurora PD and the nightmare memories those officers will live with forever. (Been there, done that!)

TOMCAT @ 7/25/2012 9:13 PM

This is a point of view from someone who grew up around police officers but is not one. I believe that off duty police officers or anyone should not carry guns! Now does that mean that no one is walking around with a gun? no... but the more people that carry guns, the more this world is in danger! Even if you are doing it to protect citizens .. your still endangering people. For example, after this mass shooting, more people with no police force experience are buying guns and going to the shooting range.. now next time your in the movie theater.. think about how many people around you are armed? It just takes one of them to be an idiot! If this did occur again, think about how many people would pull out guns and start shooting.. and then how would anyone be able to identify the real shooter? How can you trust anyone who is carrying a gun? You think someone with a gun in the same theater as you will just assume your a police officer? I would assume your in on it! No one should carry guns! Just because you guys are trained to take down bad guys with guns doesn't mean thats the only way to live. I feel bad for anyone who carries a gun around with them... just upping your percentage of a TRAGEDY happening to YOU

DMorrisn @ 7/25/2012 9:20 PM

Let's not forget about those of us who have retired and still qualifiy annually under HR218. We maybe retired but still are officers who have spent a lifetime protecting and serving our communities.

Nancy @ 7/25/2012 10:50 PM

As a "civilian", I would like to thank all of the police officers in this country for being there for us. You are appreciated.

Also, as a "civilian", I will no longer enter a place of business that has a "no gun" policy (except my bank). A "no gun" policy creates a "free fire zone" for criminals, and it's utter nonsense to give the criminal the advantage. My "boycott" is not due to fear. It's just basic common sense. I would be much safer patronizing an establishment where concealed carry is allowed.

Ric Walters @ 7/26/2012 5:15 AM

TOMCAT - are you serious? Carrying a gun does not endanger anyone. More guns in the hands of trained people - officers or not - equals better odds that reruns of Aurora won't happen. Who let this guy on here, anyway? I'm surprised that any state that requires officers to be "on duty" 24/7 wouldn't override private industry's no guns allowed policy. In Texas, you're a cop all day, every day, regardless of duty status. Our concealed handgun law doesn't apply to cops. A cop can carry in a bar, in a theater, in church, wherever they go - and that's how it should be everywhere.

Walkin trails @ 7/26/2012 5:25 AM

As a 3rd generation, LEO, I would like to offer this to those who have posted their concerns about officers carrying off duty. Many years ago, if my grandfather had not been carrying off duty on his way home from church, I might never have known him, or even come to exist myself as my father and uncle were with him and in the line of fire of the crook trying to get the drop on him. Early in my LE career, I was made twice by criminals I had apparently dealt with on the job. The issues were resolved without an off duty firearm being drawn, but it was there if I needed it. While there are negligent discharges from time to time among us, it is a training and awareness issue, not a problem inherent to the fun itself. It doesn't require range time or expensive ammo to train yourself in proper gun handling techniques, and an off duty pistol should be carried in a quality holster even if it comes out of tourism pocket. The "well regulated" clause in 18th Century terms meant well trained, and the militias of the time did train. They even focused on marksmanship skills as a way to off-set the fact that it would be hard for them to match the maneuver and bayonet tactics of a professional army. I believe that even CCW holders should have more than 8 hours of training. Even when and if our society finally decides to make an example of criminals rather than coddling them, excusing them, and making them a protected class, there will still be the need for the Sheepdog to remain vigilant.

Bob @ 7/26/2012 5:36 AM

Lt Col Dave Grossman, USA (Ret.), specializes in training and speaking on active killer scenarios. His talks are outstanding. He rightly questions why any LEO would not carry off-duty. Sheepdogs should never be unarmed or unprepared. As has been said, anyone armed on site is a first responder in an active killing scenario. It's too easy to say that "it's never happened to me in 25, 30, 50 years," but then you might as well get rid of your life insurance, fire extinguishers, etc., if you've never used them in 25+ years. It's about risk management, not one person's limited life experience.

As for gun-free or predator-enabling zones, unless it's by law, concealed is concealed. It's never been a problem for me over the years and no one is the wiser. I and those around me are safer without their knowledge. We need to rebuild a culture in America where people accept responsibility for their own safety and that of their family.

We need a national CCW reciprocity law, although we really shouldn't need one. The 2nd Amendment is an incorporated civil right, and states should have no more leeway to override it than the 1st Amendment or any other. Until then, I just don't travel to places where my permits aren't recognized, and generally don't enter predator-enabling zones as declared by law. I will not put myself or my family at needless risk.

Mark Gleason @ 7/26/2012 8:48 AM

I am impressed with the Aurora Police response time, coordination and overall control of this horrible incident. I strongly believe that all officers should carry off duty and carry concealed. I also believe that officers should have their ID or Badges on at all times also. This I have done for the last 33 years and encourage my officers to do the same. God bless the families of Aurora, Co .

Chief Dave @ 7/26/2012 9:10 AM

Who knows how many robberies have been averted by having a “no gun allowed” posted at the entry to an establishment! I’m sure the robber complies with the business request. You THINK? I would suspect that only a law-abiding citizen would actually comply. That would encourage the robber to complete the “hold-up” as chances are no one who would take action to foil the robbery would be able to. Certainly his chances of not getting his A*^ blow off are much better. Publicize the fact that all “ off-duty” officers are required to carry and take action and the robber/gunman would, perhaps, stop and think about what they are about to do, and whether or not they want to sacrifice their worthless lives to do it. Then cover all officers acting in official capacity of serving and protecting, as “on-duty” officers and should they give up their lives, wherever that my be, it should be the same as if they were gunned down in their patrol cars while on duty for their respected jurisdiction. Again, knowing that they, indeed, will be punished might turn some of these idiots around. Perhaps a unified group of police officers similar to the Patriot Guard attending functions could work

RF @ 7/26/2012 9:57 AM

I got into an argument with a friend of a friend about this issue when I said I thought an armed off-duty officer in the theater likely would have made a difference. The gal replied that I didn't know what I was talking about since, because of the tear gas, no one could see what was happening inside the theater and in the chaos the officer "would more than likely have probably hit a fleeing patron" and she clearly disagreed with me. After making several points about tactical response (which all LEOs already know so I will not re-post here) I simply said, "Answer me this: When the on-duty, uniformed officers arrived at the shooting in progress that night - would you have preferred they stayed outside until it was over?"

So many people do not seem to understand that the only difference between off-duty and on-duty would have been a uniform and a vest. (Okay and a dispatcher and ready back-up, etc.) But all it really showcases is in a deadly situation like that, were an off-duty officer present and armed, the biggest deciding factor would be their level of courage and experience.

My best to all the LEOs out there making a difference everyday. Stay safe.

Federali @ 7/26/2012 11:27 AM

@Joe Doc: Yes you have been very fortunate to have never needed your weapon off-duty for all these years, as most of us will also be. However, I know that I don’t want to be the one, like the officer that Vinojason mentioned above, that watches innocents, possibly including me and my family, getting hurt and only being able to say “If only I had brought it today”, that’s not what I nor most of us are about. If you’re that afraid of accidental discharges why don’t you leave your gun in the trunk and unloaded when on duty too? Probably because you know your equipment and training make it so that there are no “accidental” discharges, only “NEGLIGENT” discharges. Your training doesn’t stop working when you’re off-duty, and there are very safe off-duty holsters too, so what gives? If my daughter decides to date/marry an LEO (in about 15-20 more years when I will allow her to date! LOL), I would lose respect for him if he decided my daughter was not worth protecting to the upmost of his ability. Your daughter’s decision is based on what she learned from growing up with you. I know my daughter will think it odd that if her boyfriend/fiancé is an LEO and doesn’t carry off duty.

@Tomcat: I usually refrain from these types of comments, but did your brain fully develop? Since when are off-duty LEO’s carrying a gun a danger? I suppose you think the wolves in our society should be allowed safe passage to complete their reign of terror whenever they decide to unleash it! You readily admit that there are guns being carried out there, yet you would prefer the good guys not carry! REALLY!?! Please be sure that if you are a victim in the future, and I hope not, you start yelling that you don’t want anyone to come to your aid, especially if they are an armed off-duty LEO.

Remember a gun is a piece of machinery, it breaks down at the least convenient of times. If you carry one, you should probably carry two. It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it

Federali @ 7/26/2012 11:28 AM

Got cut-off again: It’s ALWAYS better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it!

Mark @ 7/26/2012 4:23 PM

Well, I guess you can see that the overwhelming majority thinks it is nuts that Officers cannot carry their weapons in some establishments. I personally would like to see the federal government step up and create legislation allowing Officers to off-duty carry anywhere in the USA. You will still have the left wing business owner that doesn't agree with firearms period. But, for those who are on the fence and large venues, may sway them to change their policies about firearms being allowed in businesses. I often wonder also if off-duty LEO's should be pushing it with management instead of the security guard at the door that is just following orders.

richard valdemar @ 7/26/2012 5:53 PM

Good Idea Dean! I already Boycott Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, and Anaheim and Dodger Stadium here in Southern California, but how can we boycott the U.S. Post Office or the Veteran’s Hospital? All these places who profess to serve good people and to respect law enforcement prohibit me from carrying my gun.

Roxanne @ 7/26/2012 9:05 PM

@federali - my father has been a police officer in philly for over 25 yrs and has never carried a gun off duty. i am thankful i did not grow up around a gun. I am also happy that I feel safe with out a gun present in my life. I will take my chances in this world with out one. I also would not want anyone in my life around me carrying a weapon. I understand that it is safer and blah blah blah.. But I will take my chances and not live by something that may never happen to me. I believe off duty cops should carry guns.. Just as long as its not around me. Please don't try to explain your point of view to me because as strongly as you all feel about carrying a weapon, i feel the opposite. You trying to change my mind is like me trying to change yours. But understand that not everyone feels that it is necessary to carry a weapon for protection.

Rob Coon @ 7/27/2012 7:43 AM

Like Lt. Col Grossman reminds us in his seminars, there are sheep, sheep dogs and wolves. With out a gun, we are sheep and are now challenged by the 1% wolves we have to face. The Col. changed my mindset, and I always carry off duty.

Bob Kolenda @ 7/27/2012 10:52 AM

Dean, Nice job. I agree officers should be armed off duty when ever possible. Be tactical and have a plan in mind, wherever you might be. A high intesity pocket flash light is another tool that should be considered. Kudos and blessing to Auroura and the surrounding agencies who responded to this tragedy.

Dean Scoville @ 7/27/2012 11:27 AM

Thanks, Bob. And great to hear from you again, sir :) (Richard, I am seriously thinking of compiling and maintaining some kind of online list of businesses who don't necessariy have cops' best interests in mind. I might start with Hollywood...)

Mike @ 7/28/2012 10:56 AM

A truly great article,
As a small business owner I feel safer knowing a law abiding cleared person is in possession of a weapon, especially a LEO. In my opinion this shooting is going to bring an onslaught of legal action against the theater and hopefully it is enough to either force them out of business (which is bad for those victims) or at least enough for them to consider taking the sign down.
Some thoughts are placed in if there were any CPL/CCW holders in the theater? Where was security? But more importantly would be why they felt the need to put such a sign up and prohibit LEO's from having guns, which seems senseless and illogical. The liability is not increased by not posting signs telling people not to carry, yet it does seem to be increased by posting the signs without a formable way to protect the patrons of the theater from a madman, which has now happened. Similarly, a person putting up beware of dog signs and then a person getting bit, the owner knew the dog would bite because of the sign says so, which means they are harboring a knowingly aggressive dog. By putting a sign up saying no guns allowed it allows the perp to know the theater is a safe place to open fire on a crowd of people who are basically limited in routes in which to escape. Given no security measures being in place after disarming the patron the theater have just created a situation that allowed for the slaughter of defenseless people.

Vbdep @ 7/29/2012 8:23 PM

I think that all LEOs and retired LEOs should be allowed to carry in every state anywhere they go. I won't go to a place no matter how much I want to go there if I can't carry my weapon. In the state I live in a retired officer can carry anywhere a still employed officer goes. No matter which state that officer retired from or works for. All states should be like that for us. Who knows when one of us retired guys or gals may walk into it and all of that training you still remember kicks in. The only people getting screwed is us and the law abiding sane ones. HB218 was a great idea and it works but our hands get tied when we cross a state line. I can go to church or a school or a bank here or a restaurant that serves alcohol (even though I don't drink) and carry. But it's illegal for a LEO or one that's retired in other states to do so. That's a reason I hate traveling, too many different laws for each state. All of my brothers and sisters out there, take care of each other and "Be Safe".

Joe Smith @ 7/30/2012 6:10 AM

I support the right of off-duty cops and properly licensed civilians to carry concealed wherever they go. I think "gun free" zones are idiotic and shortsighted by those who create them.

Although I enjoy the benefits of it, the LEOSA leglisation usurped the individial state's rights to decide who can carry a gun in their state and when.

Likewise, some argue for a similar act to force private business/venue owners to allow us to carry on their property. Like it or not, they have the right to decide what they allow on their property.

I do not support legislation that would mandate they allow cops and/or civilians the "right" to carry on their property. I liken such legislation the wave of anti-smoking laws recently which force, for example, bar owners to disallow smoking in their bars.

I don't smoke so I certainly enjoy going into a bar and coming out smelling like I went in and not like a walking ashtray. But I do not like the government regulating that type of activity on private property.

I believe private property owners have the right to dictate what they will allow, or disallow, on their private property. Just as you and I do at our homes - even though some of those venues have a "public" aspect to them, they are still no less private property.

In the end, I would fully support an organized "boycott" of those businesses that choose to deny us our right to carry on their property. Much like I simply go somewhere else when I find a business doing/allowing something I dislike, I have no problem getting behind an effort that makes us aware of which businesses are gun-unfriendly so we can take our business elsewhere.

KEVIN SCANLON @ 7/30/2012 12:06 PM

I WENT TO SHORELINE AMPATHEATRE IN MOUNTAIN VIEW CA (HUGE VENUE FOR MANY BIG NAME PERFORMERS). AND WAS TOLD TO RELINQUISH MY SIDEARM AT THE SECURITY STATION MANNED BY SECURITY AND MOUNTAIN VIEW COPS... NEEDLESS TO SAY I WON'T RETURN AND SHAME ON THE C.O.P. TO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN IN HIS CITY JUST TO HAVE A MONEY MAKER FOR OVERTIME!!!!!

Federali @ 7/31/2012 1:56 PM

@Roxanne: I was not nor would I try to change anyone’s mind. That is what a free society is all about, choice. I don’t smoke, I hate the smell of it, I stay away from areas where there is heavy smoking going on, but I would never think of telling someone they can’t do it. Likewise, if a private venue wants to say no firearms; that is their choice. I will choose to stay away, or limit my involvement there. I am glad that your father has never had the need for a firearm when off-duty and I hope he never needs one when he doesn’t have one. I do have one question though; you said you wouldn’t want an off-duty LEO carrying around you. Does that mean I couldn’t sit at table next to you in Starbucks, a restaurant, etc… without leaving my gun in my car? I don’t think so, but if it does, that’s not going to happen. I conceal my weapon very well when off-duty, but a trained eye (LEO or even an LEO’s spouse or child) might get a suspicion that I might be carrying, and they’d be right. So how do you know if someone around you is carrying? I do understand that there are people in this world that would rather die themselves than kill in self-defense, and therefore feel that carrying a firearm is unnecessary. Again, that is their choice; however they do not have the right to make that choice for me or anybody else. I have known a couple LEO’s that might not be here today had they not been carrying off-duty. I’ve heard stories of some that are not here today because they were not carrying, most of those were robbery victims that had their badge on them that ID’ d them to the robbers, but didn’t have a firearm to defend themselves with. One when I was a fairly new LEO was killed in front of his fiancée at a hair salon during a robbery. I couldn’t do that to my family. If I were to be killed like that, it would not be without a fight. So we will just have to cordially agree to disagree.

mike @ 8/6/2012 5:32 PM

when i see a tragedy like this then read comments that play down civilian carry as scared under fire or not qualified enough, it saddens me. i remember things like the girl in the texas restaurant that watched her mom and dad killed in front of her.. and her gun sitting in the truck. there are an awful lot of military personel or ex military perfectly suited to carry. but civilian ccw has been stigmatized to the point that people tend to want to avoid the hassle and leave their weapons home. like most of you, i bet, i was more than a little surprised that no-one in that movie theater in colorado, was ccw.

Sgt. Mike @ 8/14/2012 11:12 AM

I carry off duty when I'm dressed appropriately (not in beach cloths and planning to get wet). But I don't want to force anyone into a situation where they are uncomfortable with my choice so whether on duty or not, whether I am carrying or not, if they don't allow any person to carry a legally carried concealed firearm I avoid doing any business with them. This makes them and me happy.

Rob P @ 8/29/2012 4:48 PM

An off-duty LEO being prohibited from carrying because a business says they can't is laughable! As LEO's or everyday civilians, we should be outraged at any establishment who practices this. I can and WILL carry where I please and if asked not to do so, I will take my money and patronage elsewhere. These same businesses are often the ones singing the blues that police didn't do enough to keep them from getting robbed, burglarized, etc. I would encourage all LEO's and civilan CCW's holders to carry ALL THE TIME. An off-duty LEO or CCW holder properly armed would have ended the Aurora tragedy long before 72 innocent movie goers were hit. It would also make the next "Chuckle Castle" candidate think twice before planning and executing a similar mass shooting. Much respect and kudos to Aurora PD! Job well done!

Steve E. @ 10/2/2012 4:08 PM

Colorado law allows commissioned police officers to be on-duty 24 hours a day. Off-duty police officers essentially have the same law enforcement powers as on-duty officers. I've never heard of a business attempting to disarm an off-duty police officer. Certainly a private property establishment such as a restaurant or store can prevent civilians with concealed carry permits to from entering their business but an off-duty officer cannot be disarmed anymore than an on-duty officer can. I'd be interested to hear any court cases which allow that.

STAN COHEN @ 11/25/2012 10:15 AM

WHEN i WAS A cINCINNATI, OHIO POLICE OFFICER, A DEPARTMENT POLICY PROHIBITED AN OFFICER FROM CARRYING A SECOND FIREARM. i CVARRIED A SECOND FIREARM IN MY RIGHT HAND POCKET, AND MY HAND WAS ON IT WHEN i STOPPED A MOTORIST WHO MIGHT HAVE POINTED A FIREARM AT ME. i WOULD RATHER BE A LIVE FIRED OFFICER THAN A DEAD OFFICER WHO OBEYED A BAD POLICY.
sTAN COHEN i AGREE WITH DEAN

Ron T. @ 1/29/2013 9:10 AM

Steve E. of Colorado,

Colorado also has a law which defines "Illegal Use of a Weapon" as "Having in your possession a firearm while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance (C.R.S. 18-12-106)"

This is regularly applied to any DUI/DWAI who has a weapon in the car, even cased and unloaded in the trunk, with no ammunition in the vehicle! So any officer who goes out for a few beers with his buddies better leave the piece at home......

Jordan @ 5/2/2013 6:43 PM

I just carry into the place anyways they will never know I have a gun bc I do not show it off and keep it hidden

Jim McEwen @ 7/20/2013 4:56 PM

I'm retired LEO from Aurora Co. I have and carry concealed under HB218. I'm required to qualify each year and do it at the Aurora Range. I now live in Tennessee where guns are a way of life. However, when I come to Aurora/Denver to visit family, I don't want to be restricted by magazine limits. I wonder if I am restricted in carrying a 30 magazine that I already own (fathered in) in colorado. I want to bring my M&P 15-22 w/30 round mag's for my granddaughter to shoot. My carry gun, Walther, has a 10 round clip.

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