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  • December 10, 2018, 04:27:46 AM
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Author Topic: HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act  (Read 7059 times)

tgace

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HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act
« on: October 01, 2008, 03:46:46 PM »

Since HR 218 was implemented it seems that there have been more questions than answers regarding the hows, whens and wheres of nationwide carry. My dept hasn't come out with a policy on it yet and it seems like you get different answers from different people when you ask questions about its various regulations. As I have family out of state and do a bit of travel I have been doing some talking to other LEO's and digging up stuff on the net. Some basics I have uncovered are as follows:

-Qualified active law enforcement officers must carry the photographic identification issued by
the agency for which they are employed. (and I would say your badge as well).

If you are an active duty law enforcement officer with any local, State or Federal governmental
agency and you meet all of the requirements (see the text of the statute), you may carry a concealed firearm under the provisions set out in the law.

-You have to be a local, State or Federal LEO for this to apply to you. Railroad police, private University Police, nongovernmental LEO cannot carry under this statute.

-The right to carry in another state does NOT bring the authority to enforce the law with it. You are a private citizen with carry rights in the state you visit. Just as if you were a local permit holder; so know the carry laws of the state you are in (Ammunition type allowed seems to be a common issue). If you find youself in a LE situation, I would reccommend being a good witness and calling 911 only, unless life and limb are at stake.

-Local/Federal/State laws prohibiting carry in certain areas (schools, parks, buildings etc) apply to YOU too.

-Retired LEO's have various hoops to jump through that are the source of a lot of confusion with this Law. If heard numerous LEO's talking about how HR218 works confusing retired LEO regulations with active LEO regulations. Basically, retirees have to qualify with the weapon they want to carry and have to carry various forms of ID that can be vary state by state. Rather than muddy the waters here refer to some of the links at the end.

-Flying regulations remain the same as always.

-While your Chief can set departmental policy (i.e. "no carry out of state"), disobeying departmental regs can get you in trouble with your dept, but you will NOT be in violation of HR 218.

-As I read it, the law restricts weapon type as follows:

firearm's are defined by excluding what are NOT firearm's …
 

e) As used in this section, the term `firearm' does not include--

(1) any machinegun (as defined in section 5845 of the National Firearms Act);

(2) any firearm silencer (as defined in section 921 of this title); and

(3) any destructive device (as defined in section 921 of this title).

So there is a bit of confusion as to if HR218 covers interstate carry of long guns concealed in your vehicle. Ive seen some folks saying its covered and others saying it isn't.


Recent Development

As far as I know there has yet to be a major judicial challenge of HR 218. Recently there was a  LE involved shooting at the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota. Some out of state LEO's who were members of a LE MC got into a confrontation with some Hells Angels resulting in an Angel getting shot. The LEO's were charged with weapons violations.

Details at:

http://www.policelink.com/news/52744-4-cops-charged-with-carrying-hr218-to-be-tested


Well. Thats my current understanding of HR 218. If anybody has any additional points or corrections I would appreciate the feedback.


LINKS

The Statute:
http://www.leaa.org/218/218text.html

Implementation:
http://www.grandlodgefop.org/legislative/issues/hr218/hr218faq.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_Enforcement_Officers_Safety_Act

http://www.cslea.com/admin/upload/HR%20218%20Questions%20%20Answers.pdf



« Last Edit: October 02, 2008, 12:48:28 AM by tgace »
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Hock

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Re: HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2008, 04:14:30 PM »

My old police department has not even begun to set up the local agency, required "monitering and framework" to oversee me and other retirees and qualified ex-ers as this law requires.

The excuse is they are waiting for the state to set some kind of standards. But the state doesn't care.

So I don't think the law has been officially established hardly anywhere.

Another big government shallow, hollow law passed...

Hock 

tgace

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Re: HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2008, 04:19:34 PM »

My old police department has not even begun to set up the local agency, required "monitering and framework" to oversee me and other retirees and qualified ex-ers as this law requires.

The excuse is they are waiting for the state to set some kind of standards. But the state doesn't care.

So I don't think the law has been officially established hardly anywhere.

Another big government shallow, hollow law passed...

Hock 

Yup. All it would take at my dept is our training lieutenant making up a retiree card (hes the guy who prints up our ID's) and our training sergeant making up a course of fire...the requisite records filed and done. Not rocket science.

Still being active, its nice for me, but Im still leary of running across some out of state hotshot who is not familiar with the law.
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WTAC

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Re: HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2008, 08:12:12 PM »

Couple corrections:

1. Amtrak Police were written into the second version.

2. "Most" Federal Law Enforcement don't need HR 218 to carry state to state, they already had Federal authority to carry. This included flying while armed, that's why they have to carry (FAA requirement).

Aaron
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tgace

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Re: HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2008, 09:00:15 PM »

Couple corrections:

1. Amtrak Police were written into the second version.

2. "Most" Federal Law Enforcement don't need HR 218 to carry state to state, they already had Federal authority to carry. This included flying while armed, that's why they have to carry (FAA requirement).

Aaron

True...I only add the Feds because they are mentioned in the various sources Ive located. I believe its probably to cover retired Fed LEO's vs. active service.
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GTC-554

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Re: HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2008, 03:18:56 PM »

My old police department has not even begun to set up the local agency, required "monitering and framework" to oversee me and other retirees and qualified ex-ers as this law requires.

The excuse is they are waiting for the state to set some kind of standards. But the state doesn't care.

So I don't think the law has been officially established hardly anywhere.

Another big government shallow, hollow law passed...

Hock 

In Illinois the FOP cornered the Governor and somehow convinced Blowjobavich to get the standards passed.  Other states need to follow suit.
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Hock

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Re: HR 218 Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 07:40:41 PM »

HR218 Explained (January, 2009)
by Ken Wallentine
as he delves into some of the legal subtleties of HR 218 in the below

A South Dakota Circuit Court judge recently dismissed charges relating to carrying concealed weapons against Scott Lazalde, 38, of Bellingham, Washington, and James Rector, 44, Ferndale, Washington, law enforcement officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service, and Dennis McCoy, 58, of Seattle, Wash., a Seattle police sergeant and Ron Smith, 43, a Seattle police detective. During a confrontation at the Loud American Roadhouse bar in Sturgis, South Dakota, Detective Smith shot Hells Angel member Joseph McGuire as McGuire made aggressive moves toward Smith.

McGuire still faces assault charges.

The judge ruled that a state may restrict police officers from carrying weapons on state property, but is barred from restricting officers from carrying weapons on private property within the state. The judge’s decision dismisses charges filed by Meade County State's Attorney Jesse Sondreal. Sondreal claimed that state law should trump HR 218, known as the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (LEOSA).

Judge Warren Johnson ruled that, “While states retain the right to prohibit the possession of firearms on government property and to permit private persons and entities to prohibit the possession of firearms on their property, they cannot restrict qualified law enforcement officers in any other manner.”

Judge Johnson’s decision is a victory for sworn officers whose concealed-carry rights are protected under LEOSA. The court really did nothing more than uphold the time-honored principle that local authorities must obey federal laws.

The LEOSA allows any law enforcement officer with powers of arrest, who is authorized to carry a weapon on duty (whether or not the officer actually carries a weapon), and meets certain standards, or retired officer who formerly met these criteria, to lawfully carry a concealed handgun in any state. There are certain narrow limitations. Qualified law enforcement officers employed by or retired from a local, state or federal law enforcement agency. A “qualified active law enforcement officer” is defined as an employee of a government agency who:

• is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or the incarceration of any person for any violation of law;

• has statutory powers of arrest;

• is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm; is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency;

• meets the standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;

• is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance;

• and is not prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.

Qualified active law enforcement officers must carry the photographic identification issued by the agency for which they are employed. A "qualified retired law enforcement officer" is defined as an individual who:

• has retired in good standing from service with a government agency as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of fifteen (15) years or more for reasons other than mental instability, OR retired from such an agency due to a service-connected disability after completing any applicable probationary period of such service;

• was authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or the incarceration of any person for any violation of law;

• had statutory powers of arrest;

• has a nonforfeitable right to benefits under the retirement plan of the agency for which he was employed;

• meets, at his own expense, the same standards for qualification with a firearm as an active officer within the state in which he or she resides;

• is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance;

• and is not prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.

Qualified retired law enforcement officers must carry the photographic identification issued by the agency for which they were employed and documentation which shows that they have met the qualification standards in their state of residence for the firearm they are carrying.

A number of questions are left unanswered by the LEOSA and are left to state officials to interpret and implement. For example, the LEOSA speaks of meeting a state firearms qualification standard. Some states have no state standards and those states leave firearms qualification standards to local agency discretion. There are no mandated procedures for qualification and identification documents for retired officers. Several states have taken affirmative action to fill the gaps left by the LEOSA and to facilitate its implementation. Other states have done little or nothing. Commonly asked questions include:

“I am a fully-sworn law enforcement officer with statutory law enforcement authority, but I work for a private university, or other non-governmental employer. Will I be able to carry under the provisions of the LEOSA?”

No. You must be an employee of a local, state or federal governmental agency to carry a firearm under the provisions of this legislation.

“My agency has a policy that does not allow me to carry my firearm while I am off-duty. Does this mean that this legislation will not affect me?”

If you are a qualified active law enforcement officer, you will legally be able to carry a firearm under the provisions of the LEOSA. There may be agencies which enforce or adopt policies, rules, regulations, or employment conditions which discourage or punish officers who choose to carry while off-duty, but such actions do not mean that the officer cannot carry under the provisions of the bill.

“I am a retired officer, how do I qualify to carry under the provisions of this bill?”

Retired officers must qualify at their own expense and, once they do, will be able to carry the firearm with which they have been qualified with under the provisions of the LEOSA. Each state may adopt different procedures. The state may issue retired officers who have qualified with their firearm a document certifying that the officer has met the state's requirements. Retired officers must carry this documentation in addition to their photographic identification.

“Does the LEOSA allow me to carry a firearm on an airplane?”

No. This legislation exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from state and local laws regarding the carrying of concealed firearms, not federal laws. Carrying firearms on aircraft is regulated by other federal statutes and airline policy. There are other laws regulating carrying firearms on military bases, national parks, court houses, and post offices.

“I am a constable. Do I benefit from this law?”

Not unless employed by a state, city, or county law enforcement agency, and granted powers to investigate crimes and make arrests. A contractual relationship with a city or county is probably not sufficient to grant the protection of this law, but further study is needed on this issue.

“Could the state do nothing to implement the LEOSA, and not be in violation of federal law?”

Yes. An officer has no right to state-issued identification, state-administered qualification, or for the state to establish a qualification standard. Many agency legal advisors conclude that if the state does not have a firearms qualification standard, then no standard must be met. In other words, retired and active officers could carry weapons without meeting any standard. As for identification for retired officers, the federal law does not require that the identification be current, or show that the officer is actually retired. If a state does nothing, the likely legal result is that officers can still carry concealed weapons.

“Who will issue the required identification for retired officers?”

Some agencies already do so. The law does not contemplate that the state will issue identification; the state's role is to issue a ‘certificate’ of qualification if the agency from which the officer retired does not do so.

“Who will administer the qualification of retired officers?”

Unknown. Should it be the agency from which the retired officer resides? What about retired officers who move to Utah (a big issue in Florida!)? Should it be the state’s POST?

“Who will maintain qualification records for retired officers?”

Unknown. Aside from individual agencies, a state POST could easily create a system transforming officers’ training records into retired officers' records once an officer retires from an agency. This does not address the situation of officers who retire from one state and move to another state.

A clean-up bill is pending in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Senate Bill 376 and House Resolution 2726 would amend the LEOSA to clarify the concealed carry rights of retired law enforcement officers. The bills also clarifies that Amtrak Police Department officers and the executive branch of the Federal Government who are classified as a GS-0083 meet the definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” in the LEOSA. The Senate bill proposes that the aggregate years of service needed to meet the definition of "qualified retired law enforcement officer" would be reduced from fifteen to ten years and cleans up confusing language related to that definition.

 

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