Cinemark Theater Manager Threatens To Have Off-Duty Officer Arrested

Cinemark theater told an off-duty officer that they would call the police if he carried his concealed gun into the theater.

Cinemark theater told an off-duty officer that they would call the police if he carried his concealed gun into the theater.

Cinemark Theater Manager Threatens To Have Off-Duty Officer Arrested

Pharr, Texas – A Cinemark theater manager threatened to have an off-duty officer arrested for trying to bring his concealed firearm, with his badge, into a movie theater. Despite the officer presenting all of his credentials, the manager told him to remove his gun or she would call the police.

Cinemark’s extreme sensitivity to firearms is likely the result of the Aurora shooting at a Cinemark theater which left 12 people dead and more than 70 injured. The theater chain just won a long-fought lawsuit that was brought on by the shooting victims who claimed that Cinemark didn’t do enough to prevent them from being shot. No matter where you stand on the “Gun-Free Zone” issue, it’s absurd to eject a sworn law enforcement officer who could potentially stop any shooting.

The incident was reported by the Facebook group South Texas Sheepdogs, who are calling for a boycott of that specific Cinemark Theater. After flooding that theater’s Facebook page with negative reviews, the theater has turned off their rating system and remained defiant.

South Texas Sheepdogs posted the following details:

BOYCOTT OF CINEMARK PHARR TOWN CENTER THEATER, PHARR, TEXAS.

Attention Sheepdogs!

Today, the anti-police sentiment that is poisoning our nation hit home.

Mr. Scott and Mrs. Vega, Theater Management, took it upon themselves to ask an off duty Texas Peace Officer (TPO) to remove his weapon and put it in his car or they were going to call the police to file charges on him.

The TPO was with his family, weapon and badge concealed under his shirt. When putting items in his pocket, the managers saw his badge and gun and approached him demanding that he disarm. They stated they had the authority under the posted 30.06 and 30.07 signs to ask him to disarm or leave. The TPO explained to them the correct purpose of the signs and that the Texas Penal Code allowed him to carry his weapon and badge, as well as an Agency policy that demanded off duty carry. He showed them his badge and agency credentials. They continued to threaten to call the police if he did not disarm. In the interest of de escalating the now, very embarrassing situation, the TPO removed his weapon and badge and secured it in his vehicle.

This is the law;

§ 46.15. NONAPPLICABILITY.
(a) Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to:
(1) peace officers, including commissioned peace officers of a recognized state, or special investigators under Article 2.122, Code of Criminal Procedure, and neither section prohibits a peace officer or special investigator from carrying a weapon in this state, including in an establishment in this state serving the public, regardless of whether the peace officer or special investigator is engaged in the actual discharge of the officer’s or investigator’s duties while carrying the weapon…etc.

We, the protectors of our communities, are calling for a boycott of Cinemark Pharr Town Center Theater, 600 N. Jackson Rd, Pharr, Texas until we receive a public apology from the ignorant management of this theater. In a post Aurora Theater Massacre world, our Police should be welcomed with open arms, not embarrassed and thrown out of these high profile and high risk businesses.

United We Stand!
GOD Bless America!

Where do you stand on this issue? Should law enforcement officers be allowed to carry their weapons wherever they go? Leave a comment on our Facebook page and let us know your thoughts.

  • DinoBeliver

    This is an issue that needs to be addressed by the State Legislature. Preventing a Law Enforcement Officer from carrying their firearm is foolish. If they have an incident in the theatre and call 911 will they let the working Officers into the location? People who fear an Off Duty Police Officer because they are carrying a piece of machined steel are fools.

  • tvonthebrain

    It is well within a company’s right to forbid firearms , with, or without, a concealed carry permit. If they ‘feel’ it’s safer for their customers, then they have every right to deny entry to an individual who appears to be carrying a weapon.

    It’s ALSO well within the consumer’s right to boycott said company because of said ignorance. This is probably the best approach. Just ignore the company altogether, put the gun in the car (secured) and move on.

    • doober69

      Can you show everyone the statute that allows the management the right to forbid firearms from a Police Officer?

      • Tyler HK

        Criminal statutes are negative limitations in that they give authority to the government for what individuals can NOT do. Anyone who owns or is in control of property has the right to limit access to that property. That includes off-duty sworn law enforcement carrying weapons (concealed or in view). If the officer refuses to disarm and refuses to leave, they can be charged with Criminal Trespass. It’s a private property right. Being a law enforcement officer, and that non applicability section of the Texas Penal Code, doesn’t give peace officers the right to be armed on any property they please even against the wishes of those in control of the property.

        • Jack Reilly

          S T U P I D statutes get people and police killed……ya feel me….Philly Cop, 25 years.

        • Dan Mooar

          Well, really it does. They can refund his money, but they can’t refuse his entry otherwise. If they sell alcohol, he can search the place with no warrant. Go ahead and call the police. Here put My handcuffs on Me and my attorney will be in touch in the morning, bright and early.

          • DOJ2903

            It’s a private business, they can refuse service and ask him to leave. If he doesn’t, they can escalate it to a trespass charge. If you’re off duty, armed or note and in my house and I ask you to leave, don’t bring your attorney, bring a medic.

      • Brad Simpkins

        This sounds like a manager on a power trip that is ignorant of the law if he tried to disarm a peace officer under 30.06 or 30.07. Unfortunately, he does have the right to do what he did even if it is unintelligent and reduces the security of his theater. If the officer was off-duty and not acting in an official capacity then the private business has the right to deny entry to individuals at their discretion. They could just as easily implement a policy that says they won’t permit anyone to enter their establishment on Saturdays wearing the color orange. There’s no specific law that prohibits orange on Saturdays, but they have the right under section 30.05 of the texas penal code to control access to their property just as you have the right to control access to yours. However, if that officer is on-duty acting in an official capacity, that’s a whole different animal. Hopefully the manager and the company will get some education and change their idiotic policy.

      • Ken Janulewicz

        There are none that are valid. They are superceded by the Federa Law Enforcement Officer’s Protection Act. Any sworn officer in the US can carry anywhere except in a few select Federal areas, like Federal courthouses. An officer cannot be arrested for anything and does not have to disarm. Besides this point, the theater managers are complete idiots, stupid or insane. I would have said no, and do what you want. I paid to enter, am breaking no laws and am staying.

        • DLNoob

          Yes, but they can refuse service and request you leave. This is when you are in violation if you refuse.

      • Christopher Jackson

        Here is a link for the Act itself. Of course, it only applies to LEOs covered ONLY under LEOSA itself. Such as a LEO from Virginia traveling in Ohio while off-duty. I just used those states as a blind example. I have no idea what the states allow or don’t allow.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_Enforcement_Officers_Safety_Act

      • Bill

        “The Law Enforcement officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA) allows officers to carry concealed weapons not only in their jurisdictions but in all 50 states, and the territories of the United States, provided certain conditions are met.”

        “LEOSA does not supersede state laws permitting private property owners from limiting or prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons on their property.”

        https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/january/off-duty-officers-and-firearms

        It would appear, despite the overwhelming amount of misinformation on this forum, that the movie theatre was well within their rights to not allow someone carrying a weapon on their premises.

        • DLNoob

          Thank you!

        • Ron04

          Sigh……he wasn’t carrying under LEOSA he is still an active duty officer. The establishment UNDER TEXAS LAW can not prohibit him from entering MERELY for possessing a weapon. For OTHER REASONS perhaps but not that one.

          I’m all for private property rights. Shy of putting up a sign that says COPS NOT WELCOME there isn’t much a business owner can do – nor should they want to. The world is nuts, up is down, left is right. We need to remember that guns are tools. It’s who possesses them and how they are used at issue. Not that they exist.

      • DLNoob

        4th Amendment of the US Constitution.

        Just to list one.

        BTW he was an off duty officer. BIG difference.

        • Ron04

          NO DIFFERENCE in this instance. He’s a Texas LEO. He’s IN TEXAS. Case closed.

          • DLNoob

            BIG DEFERENCE! He is a Texas LEO. Texas is a state within the United States. The U.S. Constitution trumps all. It doesn’t mater what state he is in.

            Even if he was On-Duty, they can refuse service to uniformed officers as well. The only way they can’t is if they had a warrant or if there was evidence that a crime was being committed.

            You might want to do some research and I hope for the love of god that you aren’t an LEO.

            Read this and be educated. https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/january/off-duty-officers-and-firearms

          • Ron04

            1. learn to spell – people take you more seriously
            2. What exact part of the Constitution do you reference here?
            3. I am
            4. You’re not

          • DLNoob

            1. One misspelled word.
            2. 4th Amendment – The moment that you announce that you are an off duty officer, you are a representative of your agency. Guess what you have to follow at that point! If you are without warrant and ordered to leave the property, guess what you must do!
            3. If you are an LEO (Military not included) then god help us all. You would be badge heavy minority. You obviously have no concept of the way law and how the Constitution works.
            4. Obviously I am more educated than you. Where is your supporting evidence?
            5. If you were referring to me not being LEO….. You have no idea.

          • Ron04

            I fail to see how the Fourth Amendment is applicable here. There is no search – there is no seizure.

            How do we know he “announced” anything? He was challenged for possessing a weapon and responded.

            Why are we arguing about this? The theater is stupid both in their policy and its execution. I agree he never should have given in to their request – either call the on duty guys to school them in the law or take a refund and take your business elsewhere. This was lose-lose.

            Obviously you are more educated than I. Ya ok.

          • DLNoob

            The 4th applies since the business still has the right to maintain their R.E.P. This is the same reasoning and backing that prevents LEO/State/Government from intruding on your home or curtilage without probable cause or warrant. On or off duty.

            Once they challenged him for being possession of a weapon, he badged them. This is announcing.

            While I agree that this was a stupid and ultimately dangerous move on the theaters part, it was still within their rights to do so.

            This is all basic information that was given during basic 24 hour carry classes.

          • Ron04
          • DLNoob

            I guess you didn’t read : https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/january/off-duty-officers-and-firearms

            The FBI is a more reputable source than CBSSports on law and policy. Plus state law can not dictate what a private business on private property can refuse entry on. Now seeing that the stadium isn’t owned by the NFL, it is left up to the stadium owner to decide. The NFL can then refuse NFL based games being played at that venue. IF the stadium is partly owned by the state (Most NFL stadiums are are funded by the state where the team resides) then the state can dictate.

            Not quite the same but close.

          • DLNoob

            I also forgot….. It’s private property. When told to leave and you don’t that’s called trespassing. Which is also illegal in Texas.

            Here is a simple excerpt of Texas law:

            “Under Section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits criminal trespass
            if “he enters or remains on or in property of another without effective
            consent and he 1) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or 2)
            received notice to depart but failed to do so.”

      • DLNoob
      • tvonthebrain

        It’s not the cop’s business. the business owner has every right to set rules and regulations on how their customers conduct themselves, including carrying lethal weapons.

      • DOJ2903

        It’s not about a statute, it’s about the theater being a private business that can refuse service. He was asked to leave. It’s their right to do so. Had he not left, that would have started a slippery slope involving trespass charges. I don’t like it any more than most here, but it’s the way it is.

    • Jack Reilly

      And, someone comes in with a gun and shoots up the place, killing oh say, 10 people…..then and only then does the Police Officer go to his car (if he can get out) and get the gun, run back in and confront the bad guy(s)…..I don’t think so.

    • Joe

      It is not within their right. As noted above the state has a law n the books saying that they can not prohibit the carry of a sworn officer. Their is also a federal law that also says as much. It even carries penalties for doing so. LEO communities need to start pushing for charges against indiviuals who do so.

    • Doug Packer

      Wrong

      • tvonthebrain

        RIGHT!
        You don’t have the ‘right’ to carry a firearm onto PRIVATE PROPERTY. Sorry, that’s determined by the property owner themselves

  • Ken Janulewicz

    The officer was not carrying under a permit. Signs against carrying do not apply to sworn officers. He could not have been charged with anything. He disarmed as a courtesy, not because he had to. There is a federal law that permits him to carry almost anywhere. Look it up. LEPA I believe, or close.

    • Gene Splicer

      He can carry in public, but more and more private business are banning all weapons.

      • John Urban

        In Pennsylvania, being a private business means nothing, sworn officers are allowed to
        carry by law.

        • Doug Packer

          Same in Texas

          • Sunshine1011

            Not off duty.

        • Sunshine1011

          Not off duty officers…..

      • DRB

        In Texas it means nothing. Take the NFL van on all off duty peace officers carrying in the stadium. It didn’t fly in Texas. Texas law supercedes the nfl.

    • DLNoob

      This is true and false at the same time. While a off duty LEO might not have to announce that they are armed under their specific agencies 24 hour carry policy, they must either disarm or remove themselves from private property when requested. If they didn’t see that he was armed, then they won’t ask him to leave and he isn’t in violation. But, the moment they request he leaves he must leave. It is their property and can deny service. Remember, as an LEO you swore to uphold and defend the U.S. constitution. When carrying off duty, you are still a representative of your city/town/county/state ect. The business owners/management still has protection as listed in the U.S. Constitution. Any state law or ordinance can not and will not trump the U.S. Constitution.

      Saying that, the state laws you mention only means they LEOs do not have to announce. The business owner still has their rights to their establishment. Does their decision suck? Absolutely! Would I boycott the establishment if I was in Pharr, TX? Yes! Why? Because I believe that the business wronged an LEO.

  • CFHenderson

    He should have let them call the police so the management would know they were in the wrong.

  • Zach O’Neill

    I think it’s LEOSA you’re thinking of

  • Bobby

    I think it’s a poor policy for Cinemark, but it is their right.

    • Ron04

      no – not really. Not in this instance, in that state.

  • tekwrite

    Hope they never need the police. Or maybe I DO!

  • Christopher Jackson

    Unfortunately, while LEOSA does cover LEOs to carry concealed nationwide without a permit and off-duty, there are two exceptions.
    One exception is for a state that allows a person or entity the right to restrict concealed carry or weapons on their property. That would then apply to an off-duty LEO covered under LEOSA only just as it would for a citizen with only a CCW permit. The second exception covers federal gun free zones , like schools.
    These of course do not apply to an officer ON-duty.
    That being said, it’s not a logical decision, in my opinion, on the part of the cinema. 🙂

    • Dan Mooar

      Christopher: In Texas, there are two places that I can’t carry a firearm as a licensed peace officer, on or off duty. A Federal courthouse and and certain Federal installations and the secure area of a jail or prison. And there are special situations where even these two places would not have application, like an armed attack where the Feds or the prison officials had called for help. The laws of course, vary from state to state.

      • Christopher Jackson

        Same here in Missouri. We can carry most anywhere. Even our stadiums allow it, although we have to go through a separate entrance and sign in with our seat information. Never had any issues at other places, but it’s always concealed well regardless. No ones business really. Haha

  • Phillip

    Ignorant moron manager.

  • Doug Packer

    He should have got his money back and left (dispute the charges with the credit card if the theater won’t refund it). I don’t d business with anti-gun establishments.

  • Don

    I was a St. Louis Metro officer for 15 years… Not only was I authorized to carry off duty, it was a state law that I do carry at all times.. You were always a cop, whether on or off duty.. Any business or anything else that has a problem with me and my job will loose my business, my fellow officers business and public supports business.. I will still do my job protecting this business because I took a sworn oath, but I sure won’t patronize it ever again, with or without an apology…….

  • Jim Cunningham

    He should not have caved in. Let the idiot call the police.

  • CAREER-POLITICIANS-SUCK ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ

    I can understand a little bit why they would not want every Tom, Dick and Harry bringing in weapons, but this is a highly trained LEO. I just do not get people having a problem with that. Sounds like the manager was on a power trip. The officer should have just left the theater.

  • Tacticalterry

    Malco has a no gun sign. But I can tell u the night of the Colorado shooting the manager told me he knew every theater that had a cop and he was very thankful. The Malco theaters in my area at least are very supportive of Police. It’s a shame this theater can’t take that kind of stance.

  • Sunshine1011

    This is now ‘Murica. Used to be “sue sue sue” now it is “boycott boycott boycott”.

    • MrJonson

      Boycotts are perfectly acceptable, I know people who still refuse to eat at Chick Fill Et, but boycotts are a far more sensible manner of airing your grievances than lawsuits and in the case of a boycott you need public approval for that boycott to actually hurt sales for a major buisiness. A single person who spilled coffee on themselves can take a fat chunk of money from a company with the right circumstances and a good lawyer… I’ll take boycotts.