Anti-gun fanaticism reached the height of absurdity on July 4 when a uniformed Tacoma Park, Md., police officer was informed that he couldn’t carry his service weapon as he shopped for furniture in a local IKEA store because of the establishment’s “weapons free environment” policy.
Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg, a 35-year police veteran, told a local NBC affiliate that he stopped in the store with his daughter between shifts of working the city’s morning Independence Day parade and a fireworks show scheduled for later that evening.
As Goldberg helped his daughter pick out furniture for her new apartment, the uniformed officer was approached by an IKEA loss-prevention employee.
“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 said.
The police chief, who said that he’d never before been confronted about his firearm while in uniform, decided against locking his gun up outside.
“It isn’t the most prudent thing to do to walk around the store in uniform with an empty holster,” Goldberg said. “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 was unable to get a copy of the store’s official firearms policy at the time of the incident, so he spoke out against IKEA’s policy on Facebook.
That prompted the following response from the retailer’s corporate office:
We regret that there was a misunderstanding of our weapon policy in our College Park Store. 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.
The ridiculous incident got some interesting comments from readers on NBC Washington’s original report.
“Well Chief, that’s a taste of the baloney that law-abiding gun owners have to put up with regularly when we carry,” one commenter said. “Not pleasant getting kicked out of a gun-free zone, is it? Gun-free zones don’t make any sense do they?”
Another posited this imaginary scenario:
“911 what is your emergency?”
“This is the Ikea store we have a man with a gun who has taken hostages in the store.”
“Officers are on the way.”
“Tell them we are a weapon free area they have to leave their guns in their cars before entering the store!”
“Dispatch to all units responding to the man with a gun at the Ikea, Disregard.”