A furniture store in Takoma Park, Maryland that calls itself a “Weapons Free Environment” took its policy a bit too far on Independence Day.
That’s when a loss prevention officer at IKEA approached Alan Goldberg, who carried a visible, holstered firearm into the store, telling him he would have to leave the premises or place the weapon in his vehicle, according to NBC Washington.
The request caught Goldberg off guard: he is Takoma Park’s chief of police, and he was in uniform during his visit.
Goldberg was at the IKEA — a popular furniture store founded in Sweden — to shop with his college-bound daughter after having spent the morning working a July Fourth parade. He was also scheduled to work a fireworks display scheduled for later in the evening.
But none of that mattered to the store’s loss prevention officer, who approached Goldberg to inform him of IKEA’s zero-tolerance gun policy.
“He says we have a no firearms policy, and you’re either going to have to leave or you can lock your gun in the car,” Goldberg told NBC Washington.
The 35-year law enforcement veteran said he has never been asked to part with his service weapon before.
“It isn’t the most prudent thing to do to walk around the store in uniform with an empty holster,” Goldberg told the station. “And I am not going to lock my gun in a commercial parking lot, with people watching me put it in there. That’s just ludicrous.”
Goldberg parked his shopping cart and left the store, but not before asking to view IKEA’s written policy. Management did not provide it at the time but released a statement to NBC Washington on Monday.
“We regret that there was a misunderstanding of our weapon policy in our College Park Store,” IKEA said in a statement. “Our weapon policy does not apply to law enforcement officers. We are taking steps to ensure that this is clear for all our co-workers.”
While Goldberg was angry enough over IKEA’s request on Friday to post about it on Facebook, he said he was satisfied by the store’s response on Monday.