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NC LEO's Off-Duty Carry...

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by Sampo, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Sampo

    Sampo

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    Sep 21, 2008
    NC
    What's up guys, I've been having a debate with my chief about the ccw laws for the state and how they affect LE.

    Here is an excerpt from the State DOJ Law Enforcement Liason Publication:

    III. POSSESSING AND CARRYING FIREARMS

    A. Carrying Concealed Weapons

    "Only certain categories of persons in North Carolina are allowed, in particular circumstances, to carry concealed weapons... The following categories of persons are exempt from the restriction of North Carolina's concealed weapons laws:

    2. Civil and law enforcement officers of the United States

    4. Officers of the State, or of any county, city, or town, charged with the execution of the laws of the State, when acting in the discharge of their official duties...

    8. State probation or parole certified officers, when off-duty, provided that an officer does not carry a concealed weapon while consuming alcohol or an unlawful controlled substance remains in the officer's body.

    9. Sworn law enforcement officer, when off-duty, provided that an officer does not carry a concealed weapon while consuming alcohol or an unlawful controlled substance remains in the officer's body."

    Link to the publication : http://ncja.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/a18f57fc-d990-43f0-8982-feb1f4c72deb/NC-Firearms-Laws-Pub-2011.aspx

    Obviously I left out the sections not relevant to my forthcoming question, they mainly deal with National Guard and DA's, ADA's and DA Investigators... but I provided the link in case anyone wants to read it. It really is a good compilation of NC Gun Laws.

    OK, here is the question/issues. No where in the publication does it state that the Officer has to qualify with the off-duty weapon, which is where the debate picks up. Key phrase is "The following categories of persons are exempt from the restriction of North Carolina's concealed weapons laws"

    Our firearms instructor went over the law in our last class, and as it reads he told us that duty weapons are off limits "off-duty", but personal weapons are good to go off-duty and we don't need to qualify with them.

    However, local PD chief states that you have to qualify with off-duty gun.

    Clearly, two differing opinions, PD chief states it is implied that you have to qualify. FI obviously disagrees, but foresees the Dept. adding some qualification course for off-duty carry into policy.

    My question is, who has the more common sense approach? I think that the PD approach deals with policy more than with the way the law reads.

    What's the general thought from my fellow NC LEO's. What does your Dept. or Agency say about off-duty carry. Is qualification policy driven?

    Thanks a bunch...
     
  2. GackMan

    GackMan

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    PacNW
    I think you are correct; it is two separate issues.

    One is the law - the law only establishes that cops can carry guns. Listing a need to qualify, how you carry, what ammo, etc etc is ouside the purpose of that law. I'm sure everyone in NC is happy that the legislature didn't get that specific with the law.

    The policy is dept specific. The chief can tell you what you can/can't carry as a condition of employment. In and effort to limit liability, because he's a jerk, whatever... he can stop you from carrying your Lorcin .25 off duty and/or make you qualify with it. They can dictate things like what kind of holster you can use, gun you can carry, what ammo to use, minimum caliber, that it must be concealed, must select an off duty gun from a list of approved manufacturers, etc.

    Is it illegal to carry your Jennings in your sock when you are off duty? no.
    Can you get fired or in trouble administratively for doing so? yes.

    What's a common sense approach? Somewhere in between "carry whatever you want" and "carry your full duty belt off duty.... but concealed."
     

  3. BamaTrooper

    BamaTrooper Almost Done

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    Rocking Chair
    We have a qualification for an off duty/back up gun. Simple course. we apply through our chain to carry the gun as a back up.
    It is suggested, not required, that we carry off duty. Does the law in NC require some proof of qualification for off duty?
    As for the city PD chief, I assume he can make rules for his guys. If you have more than 2-3 guns, can you imagine trying to qualify with everyone you might carry?
     
  4. glocksalot

    glocksalot

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    Jan 17, 2010
    NC
    by policy, we are supposed to qualify with our off duty carry firearm...

    the qualification course is the exact same as the on duty firearm
     
  5. RVER

    RVER

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    Aug 3, 2004
    PA
    Many LEO's that are otherwise authorized to carry a FA off duty without a permit choose to get and to carry on a permit rather than on their credentials to avoid departmental restrictions... Get a CCW and then choose how and what you want to carry. I like choices.
     
  6. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA

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    Mar 1, 2000
    Pennsylvania
    In PA, State law says a police officer can carry, period. It makes no mention of firearms or qualifications.

    MPOETC, the governing body for law enforcement in PA says that in order for a police officer to retain his certification every year, he must qualify with a firearm. It stands to reason that this means his duty weapon. It makes no mention of an off-duty or back up weapon.

    However, department policy dictates that we must qualify with every firearm we will carry; duty, off-duty or back up.

    So, by state law......as long as I keep my certification, I can carry anything, say a Raven .25 semi-auto. But, if I did carry this, I would be in violation of department policy since 1) I did not qualify with this and 2) the weapon was not approved by the chief.

    State Law says I can carry anything.

    MPOETC says I must qualify (with my duty weapon) to keep my certification.

    Department policy says I can only carry an approved firearm and that I must qualify with it.
     
  7. OLY-M4gery

    OLY-M4gery

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    Southern WI
    If you are carrying "off duty" because you are a police officer, then you have to follow the policies regarding off duty carry enacted by your department.

    Your firearms instructor seems like he has some "interesting" theories.
     
  8. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

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    Acme proving grounds.
    Are you east of Charlotte or west? .'08.
     
  9. Sampo

    Sampo

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    Sep 21, 2008
    NC
    East of CLT., and as it stands currently our Dept. does not have an off-duty carry policy other than not to carry our duty weapon "off-duty."
     
  10. Hack

    Hack Crazy CO Gold Member

    In my agency, (which agency has facilities in your state), it's pretty simple. We qualify with our duty weapons, which gives us the bare basics on correct handling of firearms, how to shoot them, when to shoot them, so forth and so on. Our issued duty weapons are issued to us as needed depending on the position that we are working. So, we do not carry our duty weapons off duty, although we may buy and carry any firearm off duty that is concealable, including a weapon that is exactly like our duty weapon. We have no restrictions on type of, quantity of, or what have you.
     
  11. k9medic

    k9medic

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    at an LZ near you
    Our policy on firearms, which I helped to write (in part) -

    Off Duty – While off duty and in compliance with the Law Enforcement Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA) sworn law enforcement officers are permitted to carry a Department issued firearm or a Department approved personally owned firearm while off-duty provided: (This policy does not preclude the officer from carrying a firearm under the authority of a valid concealed weapons permit issued by the State of Florida or while taking part in any lawful firearms related activity.)

    1. The Department badge and identification card must be carried when a Officer is off-duty and carrying a firearm.

    2. All firearms carried or used off-duty shall be approved by the Department and registered with the Department. The Department shall inspect each firearm for proper functioning and suitability for police service. The training Section shall keep a file or register listing the approved firearms, its description and owner and shall forward a copy to the Department Supervisor and the Personnel Section.

    3. Officers shall qualify with their off-duty firearm to the same level of proficiency as their duty weapon. The Training Section shall document the Officer’s proficiency on a Department approved course of fire.

    4. Off duty Officers in civilian clothing shall keep their firearm concealed from view when in public.

    5. An issued firearm or an approved off-duty firearm will be carried when a Officer is operating a Department vehicle.

    Additionally, when operating a Department vehicle a badge and identification card must be carried.

    7. Firearms shall not be carried into liquor establishments at any time an Officer is engaged in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, unless the Officer is authorized previously in writing by the Chief.

    8. Time and safety permitting, the badge and identification card shall be prominently displayed and the officer's identity and authority announced before the officer's weapon is exposed or used. In all cases a verbal announcement of the officer's identity and authority shall be made.

    9. Due to the possibility of not being recognized a law enforcement officer and the possibility of a lack of immediate communication with headquarters, an off-duty officer in XXXXXXX (the city) shall take action with a displayed weapon only in the event of a forcible felony or to come to the aid of another person in the need of immediate assistance. In any event, the off-duty Officer shall summon an on-duty Officer to the scene to be the primary investigating officer.
     
  12. merlynusn

    merlynusn

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    Nov 16, 2007
    NC
    The law merely states that LEOs are exempt from the CCW statutes. It's 14-269(b). The statute does not state that it has to be a department issued gun or that you have to qualify with it.

    Our policy states we have to qualify with our off duty/backup gun and they have to be inspected prior to qualification by the range staff. LEOSA only states that you have to qualify with the similar type of gun, not the exact gun you are carrying (if I'm wrong, please correct me here).

    So per the law, I can carry whatever I want when I run to the store. Per departmental policy, unless I'm carrying my duty weapon or a weapon I qualified with, then I'll get written up. I don't know why your FI would say that duty weapons are off limits for off duty carry.
     
  13. Since K9 briefly mentioned this, I will offer a thought: I believe LEOSA mandates regular qualification (annually), and this may be where the OP's Chief came up with the requirement for qualification.
     
  14. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Aug 10, 2004
    I did this but there is an important caveat if you elect to do this.

    While you can carry under a permit, electing to act under color of authority as a police officer immediately places the officer into duty status and immediately compels the officer to abide by department policy and procedures during that time.

    Most cops know this where permits are issued, but for anyone not realizing it, a permit does not provide a 'back door' to avoid policy restrictions by the employer.

    To fully carry under my permit and avoid ambiguity, I always left my credentials at home, and trained to never announce 'Police Officer' in that type of use of force issue.

    If your policy mandates credentials and or firearms 24/7, a CCW permit is not going to help negotiate policy restrictions.
     
  15. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Aug 10, 2004
    Within State certification guidelines, the CLEO sets a policy for qualifications that at least meet State minimums. Any insurance carrier is going to reinforce this and insist on it as a condition of coverage for that agency. Novelty certification clubs, i.e. CALEA and others, often have minimums stated to comply with their 'membership'. The CLEO can set a higher standards if they are consistent with good LE practices.

    More time at the range is nearly always a good thing.
     
  16. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Gubmint Worker

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    Dub V
    I dont understand on duty weapons being no go...I would want my officers carrying the gun they are most documented to be proficient with. And personally I would want any non duty gun I carried to be well documented from a legal aspect for if and when I had to use it.
     
  17. I think this would be especially critical if it's used in an off-duty occasion. Documented training and continuing certification/requal would take one of the variables out of the situation.
     
  18. Sampo

    Sampo

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    Sep 21, 2008
    NC
    @ jwhite75 and A6Gator, its been a constant issue as to why they don't want us carrying our duty weapons off-duty. Here's the kicker, per policy we are always "on-duty"...:upeyes:... Kills me, and we've had some heated debates over that one! Not sure of the method to the madness behind that one. My chief likes to joke and say that that particular section of policy was written by a "Dem"...no offense :winkie:
     
  19. Sounds like it was formulated by the Department of Redundancy Department...:supergrin:
     
  20. Sampo

    Sampo

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    Sep 21, 2008
    NC
    Actually the Department of Utterly Moronic Bureaucrats.... "DUMB" ;)