Professional Bull Riders CEO Sean Gleason nearly canceled a performance at the Spectrum Center (Time Warner Cable Arena) in Charlotte, N.C. and refunded patrons their ticket price for the event when managers of the Center refused to allow Federal Agents Honor Guard in the building to present the Flag during the National Anthem because the agents were armed.
The Center has a policy not to allow armed individuals into the building and demanded that the Agents who were in full Class “A” Uniforms as part of a ceremonial dress to honor our country’s flag and anthem. Part of the dress uniform is of course being armed, however the management of the Spectrum Center apparently believed that their policy was to take priority over all.
The Spectrum Center wanted the Agents to surrender their firearms to them and the Agents refused.
Gleason argued with staff of the Spectrum for nearly an hour and a half and was nearly ready to cancel the event as he was adamant not to allow the show to go on without presenting the colors of the American flag prior to the show with the respect he believed it deserved.
He believed that it was an “agenda” by the Staff of the Spectrum not to allow guns in the Arena and it may well have been. He wrote on his Facebook page his rendition of the events as they transpired. He wrote:
Last night, I came within one minute of cancelling the first PBR performance of the Charlotte event and the first BFTS performance that would have been cancelled in our history.
The fine men and women of the US Customs and Border Protection color guard and others working their recruitment booth were not allowed in the building. The building staff forced their booth to be moved to the plaza after it had already been set up inside where it belonged and the color guard had to stand outside at the security entrance for over an hour.
The building was not going to allow Federal Agents of the US government, in uniform, working in an official capacity and on the clock in to the building with their firearms. I was told that was building policy.
As Federal Agents working in an official capacity, they are not allowed to ‘surrender’ their firearms to anyone, especially a security guard working at an arena in Charlotte, NC!! That included the color guard who were presenting the American flag to our fans for the anthem.
What should have been a two minute conversation with the GM of the building turned into a 1 1/2 hour runaround involving lawyers and the most insane arguments and reasoning I have ever heard.
I understand and appreciate that this building has a policy that prohibits firearms being carried by anyone who is not there in an official capacity. I have a concealed carry permit but would not expect to be allowed to carry a firearm into a public or private venue that did not allow it. But these were federal agents, in uniform, in an official capacity.
It seemed very clear to me after 1 1/2 hours that this was a situation in which a ‘policy’ that has merit on the surface was being used to go beyond both reason and the law to force an agenda.
After many attempts to resolve the situation,I made the decision to hold the performance until the federal agents, in uniform, carrying the American flag, were allowed in the building. If that delay was longer than 10 minutes we would have cancelled the event and provided a refund to our fans.
At 7:59, one minute before the announcement, the building staff offered to have a Charlotte police officer escort the nine armed federal agents into the building as a compromise. A solution that could and should have been presented hours earlier but that wasn’t until 1 minute before we were going to announce the cancellation.
And the irony is, the federal agents could have required the Charlotte police officer to surrender his weapon to them!!! I need to note that the Charlotte police were as ‘baffled’ by this policy and situation as we were. They would not and could not ask federal agents to surrender their firearms to them. They were exceptionally professional.
If we have the same issues tonight – which I have been assured we won’t – the show WILL NOT GO ON. We won’t start a show without our sponsor, our color guard or the American flag.
In our opinion : It is political correctness gone mad, when people do not trust Law Enforcement Officers, the men and women of our country who have put their very lives on the line to protect and serve, to carry a weapon in their presence and blame it on “rules” set forth by “management”. ~ WBL
What are your opinions on this matter?
Will you support places that do not allow Officers to carry on or off duty in their businesses because of “rules set forth by management”?
Does this make you feel safer or less safe?