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Police Chief Asked to Leave Gun Behind While in IKEA Store

Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg says he was shopping at the College Park IKEA store, in uniform, when a security guard asked him to leave his service weapon in his car.

Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg was shopping at the College Park IKEA store, in his uniform, when a security guard asked him to leave his service weapon in his car. Credit: Screenshot from NBC Washington
Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg was shopping at the College Park IKEA store, in his uniform, when a security guard asked him to leave his service weapon in his car. Credit: Screenshot from NBC Washington

A suburban Maryland police chief in uniform was asked to lock his service weapon in his car or leave a College Park IKEA store.

Takoma Park Police Chief Alan Goldberg told NBCWashington that in his 35-year law enforcement career he’s never had a store ask him to leave his gun behind. The furniture chain says the employee was mistaken in his interpretation of the policy.

A security guard at the store, where Goldberg was shopping with his daughter on July 4, asked him to leave his gun in his car because company policy prohibits firearms in stores.

"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 the NBC station.

A sign posted on the front door of the store says: "Weapons Free Environment."

Gun-rights activists have focused on different retailers as they have announced policies restricting the “open carry” of guns in stores. Businessweek reports that Chipotle and Starbucks have been targets of scrutiny after the chains decided they would not allow guns in their locations.

Just last week, Minneapolis-based Target, which does not sell guns or ammunition, posted a blog that says “we respectfully request that guests not bring firearms to Target – even in communities where it is permitted by law.”

The Takoma Park police chief said the security guard’s demand made no sense.

"It isn't the most prudent thing to do to walk around the store in uniform with an empty holster," Goldberg told the TV 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."

IKEA said in a statement that the no-gun policy for its stores doesn’t apply to police officers.

The chain's statement said: “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.”

J.B. Rusin July 14, 2014 at 08:30 AM
At least they apologized. Last time there...broud daylight...saw College Park PD working a car burglary. Thugs smashed the window just a few yards from the front door.
john July 14, 2014 at 08:58 AM
what is he doing in IKEA on the job? go shopping on your own time.
art doyle July 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM
Heather- You seem willing to take the article at face value. I find that a tad naïve. I also do not consider it petty to call someone out when they make such a glaring error while insulting someone they do not know.
Richard Parker July 14, 2014 at 11:42 AM
The rule is stupid from the beginning because if a criminal is going to rob your store and or the customers that you have in your stores then THEY DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR NO WEAPONS POLICY NOR YOUR LIVES, STUPID STUPID, STUPID you are like our state law maker's having nothing better to do then to make up a bunch of dumb rules that don't make any sense and tell me this was your guard armed or was he un- armed??? so again just like our state law maker's THE LAW APPLIES TO EVERYONE ELSE BUT NOT TO YOURSELVES??? YOUR A BUNCH OF DUMB ASSES!!!!! That was a uniformed police officer if something had happened what was he to say to the robbers I know it would be something like this, can you guys wait a minute I have to go to get my gun from the trunk of my car because they have a No Weapons Policy and by the way did you guys know you can't bring that in here. then the robbers go we know that's why we're here knowing that you can't bring weapons in the stores it's like taking candy from a baby. Hahaha Dumb Asses... The officer did right leave and tell the world about their stupidity GOOD FOR YOU CHIEF :) RICH
Heather Patti July 14, 2014 at 02:03 PM
Art, I am far from a naïve person. I have no reason to believe that The Patch is inaccurately reporting this story. IKEA is quoted as saying, [The chain's statement said: “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.”] I was also raised in such a manner to know that correcting the grammar of a stranger is considered rude. ;) I think we can agree to disagree on that one, but I stand by my statement that the security officer's actions were incorrect and inconsistent with the policies of IKEA, and that IKEA later made that clarification.

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