New York City police officers are normally allowed to carry their service weapons when they are off duty, but not while Pope Francis is in town.
Off-duty officers planning to attend any city event associated with the visit of Pope Francis will not be allowed to carry a firearm, according to a memo obtained by The Daily Caller.
Lou Turco, president of the NYPD’s Lieutenants Benevolent Association (LBA), sent the memo to LBA members Tuesday.
“Various city state, and federal agencies are involved in ensuring a safe and secure visit for his holiness, as well as for members of the general public who plan to attend the various events associated with the visit,” Turco wrote.
“All members of the service who plan to attend a papal event while off-duty are hereby advised that firearms will not be permitted,” he continued. “Any member with a firearm will be excluded from the event.”
All attendees will go through screening at each event, Turco wrote, including at the pope’s visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, his procession through Central Park and the mass he will lead at Madison Square Garden.
New York City is known to have the strictest gun control laws in the nation and law enforcement in addition to the mayor’s office are likely on edge, as shootings in the city have spiked and the pope is visiting the city following a violent weekend of shootings that left seven people dead and four wounded.