Cleveland County deputy couldn’t enter Social Security office with firearm, sheriff says

No guns are allowed in a local Social Security office, even if you’re a member of law enforcement.

It’s a rule that’s not sitting right with Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman, who says the rule puts his deputies and everyone else at risk.

Norman says he believes it’s an unusual decision reached by the manager of this branch of the Social Security Administration office, but the federal government says law backs up the policies enforced at the building.

“It’s time for this to stop,” Norman told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon.

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The county’s highest elected official says several months ago, a deputy went inside to do business, but he was stopped and told that federal law required him to leave his gun in the car.

Norman said he thought that policy changed, but then it happened again. This time, the manager threatened to call 911.

“It’s a violation of the law because it’s an abuse of 911,” Norman said.

The sheriff says any officer who leaves their gun in their car becomes an easy target.

“Law enforcement has been under attack too long. He is a soft target regardless in today’s climate. He is even a softer target in uniform, with some type of identification on him, without that weapon,” Norman said.

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A federal spokesperson told Lemon that officers can bring a gun in if they are there for law enforcement reasons, but not if they’re there for personal business.

The buildings do have armed security inside.

Norman says his officers aren’t like any other citizen with a gun, saying they must be certified and recertified in firearms use every year. He said he has asked to meet with the manager of this office to make his case.

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