Retired Federal Way police officer sues Tacoma Dome over gun policy

TACOMA, Wash. -- A retired Federal Way police officer is suing the Tacoma Dome for its policy that prohibits people from carrying guns into the arena, even if they have a special permit to do so.

According to court documents, retired officer John Stray went to the Tacoma Dome Sept. 5, the same day Iron Maiden performed.

He told the chief of security that he is a retired police officer who is licensed to carry a concealed pistol under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, a federal law that allows current and retired law enforcement officers who qualify to carry concealed weapons in all 50 states.

Security did not let Stray into the concert, citing Tacoma Dome policy that says "firearms of any kind, regardless of permit, are not allowed."

"The only exception to this is UNIFORMED law enforcement personnel in the performance of their official duties," the Tacoma Dome says on its website.

Stray's lawsuit accuses the city of Tacoma, which operates the dome, of violating not only the federal law enforcement law, but a state law that exempts concealed carry permit holders from weapons bans at city-owned convention centers or stadiums.

Stray also said in the lawsuit that he tested the metal detectors at the Tacoma Dome and claims they don't work.

"Thus, the only individuals who were likely to be denied access to the event were plain clothes officers identifying themselves as armed law enforcement officers or others who chose to disclose that they were carrying weapons," the lawsuit states.

Q13 has reached out to the city of Tacoma for comment on the lawsuit. We will update the story if the city responds.