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Question about LEOSA

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by KiloBravo, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    I am not currently a LEO, but am very hopeful of becoming one in the near future if all goes as planned...

    My question is, does LEOSA cover all sworn officers to carry anywhere in the US regardless of state laws? Is that correct? Does it take effect immediately after graduating the academy and getting sworn in? I am just curious about it, that's all.
     
  2. trifecta

    trifecta

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    You can carry in any state, not necessarily everywhere in that state. It takes effect whenever you meet the requirements under LEOSA, after getting sworn in. Make sure you read it yourself-along with any other applicable laws and department rules-before carrying on your badge.
     

  3. KiloBravo

    KiloBravo Lifetime Newb

    Thanks very much gentlemen! :wavey:

    I will certainly check out that website as well.
     
  4. scottydl

    scottydl

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    Department policy always trumps state/fed law on gun toting and can be much more restrictive... and on the flip said, many PD's will tell you to carry anywhere you want as long as you are within the law. Bottom line is, once you get hired make sure you know exactly what your department states.
     
  5. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

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    Circling the wagons.
    The statute is pretty self-explanatory.

    To answer your questions:

    does LEOSA cover all sworn officer

    The officer must meet the requirements above. The words "sworn", "full time", "regular", or "paid" do not appear anywhere. Some people insert such words in to their interpretation, but the fact is that they are not there.

    to carry anywhere in the US regardless of state laws

    The statute does not preempt state laws that allow a private property owner to prohibit carrying on their property nor does it preempt laws that prohibit carrying on government property. It is most definitely not an "absolute" right to carry anywhere and it's worth mentioning that no police authority is conferred by the statute.

    One of the common misconceptions about the statute is that it gives the officer "the same rights as a permit holder in the state they are in." This is absolutely not true. There are now 49 (didn't WI pass a permit law?) states with concealed weapons permit laws and no matter how similar, I'm positive that none of those laws are identical. Further, there is still at least one state (IL) that does NOT issue concealed weapons permits, so it would be difficult to have the "same rights as a permit holder" in Illinois. LEOSA "qualified law enforcement officers" would also be able to carry in places like New York City where I believe a regular NY CCW does not allow one to carry (not sure of that). The statute provides exactly what it says that it does, nothing more. All of the authority granted by the statute is written in the statute.

    Does it take effect immediately after graduating the academy and getting sworn in?

    Since department identification is required, it would at bare minimum require the department to issue you such identification. HOWEVER, because there is an employer/employee relationship being considered you have to remember that you are potentially dealing with both a situation of criminal law (being immune from prosecution for carrying) and one of department policy, and therefore the fact that you are not violating the law, does not mean that you are not violating policy nor that you are immune from discipline for violating policy.

    In other words, if your department says "thou shalt not carry out of state", you would be at minimum on the hook for a policy violation if you did so, however I think you could potentially face criminal charges because at the time that you were carrying in violation of policy you were NOT a "qualified LE officer" under the statute because the agency was, in fact, had not "authorized you to carry." But I also doubt anybody would actually prosecute for that, as it is a very technical interpretation of the statute.

    The bottom line on all of this is that there are few givens with the statute. At the bare minimum, one must meet all of the requirements listed in subsection "c" and must abide by the restrictions in "b" if they apply in the place that the person is in. It's worth pointing out that the very few times that LEOSA has been asserted as a defense to an actual prosecution, it has been applied very liberally by the courts.
     
  6. nohocop

    nohocop

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    DaBigBr, your analysis is almost right, but incorrect in two respects.

    First, with regard to government property, there has to be a STATE law which prohibits concealed carry on state or local government. It can't be a local law (for example, city or county). Many cities have prohibited concealed carry in city buildings, parks, and so on. Those laws are pre-empted by LEOSA. It must be a state law. So when you say "government property" it's almost correct, but not quite.

    Second, your analysis on "authorized to carry" is totally wrong. LEOSA does not require that the agency must authorize the officer to carry OFF DUTY. The simple requirement in LEOSA is that the officer is "authorized by the agency to carry a firearm." It is not specific with regard to on duty or off duty (or both). Thus, if you are authorized by your agency to carry a firearm in the performance of your duties, you are good to go.

    Now, I do agree that if you violate your agency's policy regarding off-duty carry you have a problem. But you cannot be prosecuted criminally as LEOSA covers you DESPITE your (stupid) agency's policy regarding off-diuty carry.
     
  7. collim1

    collim1 Shower Time!

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    Is there really an agency that prohibits off duty carry?

    I know there are some really dumb administrators out there, but really?
     
  8. Well put. I caught the second one, but not the first.
     
  9. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

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    Circling the wagons.
    The statute does NOT say "authorized to carry a firearm in the performance of your duties", it says (as you stated) "authorized by the agency to carry a firearm." I would agree that this is likely how the statute would be interpreted, it is NOT how it is worded and to the best of my knowledge the most concrete thing we have to back that up is the case where the Coastie successfully used LEOSA as a defense...and I don't even want to get in to that one as it resulted in several locked threads here when it was decided.

    The part about only state laws ("the laws of any state..." not being pre-empted is correct. I did not think to specify as such laws (local laws prohibiting carry in government buildings) are not common in my area.
     
  10. nohocop

    nohocop

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    You're saying that is "likely" how a court would interpret the statute?? How else could you possibly interpret: "Authorized by the agency to carry a firearm" ???? Seriously - how straightforward is that? There is absolutely no ambiguity there whatsoever. You're telling me a court would read into those words "off duty"?? That is preposterous.

    But just for grins. Take a look at the first prong defining a "qualified law enforcement officer"?:

    (1) is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for, any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest;

    Under your theory, a court might possibly read into these words a requirement that this applies "off duty" as well. But that makes no sense. Obviously the statute is talking about this in an on duty capacity. The same is true of "authorized by the agency to carry a firearm." Obviously that means in the individual's capacity as a law enforcement officer, not off duty on vacation somewhere in the U.S.

    It is not "likely" a court would interpret it this way. The words are very plain and simple. Are you authorized by your agency to carry a firearm, yes or no?
     
  11. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    There are.

    Sharon Twp. PD, Ohio will not let it's officers carry department firearms off duty. They have to carry a personally owned weapon off duty. My understanding, and I could be wrong here, is that they used to be forbidden from off duty carry entirely but LEOSA changed that.

    Capital University PD, Ohio also will not let it's officers carry off duty. They have to secure the guns in gun lockers at end of shift. I interviewed with them, and they made a point of explaining that right out of the gate. Chief: "If you want to carry off duty, get a state CCW permit".

    There's certainly others.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  12. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    I disagree.

    Your department may chose to sanction you for a violation of policy but you have not committed a crime if you carry under LEOSA even though your agency forbids it.

    Of course, not having a job would suck pretty hard, so while legally department policy can't trump LEOSA, I guess practically, it can.
     
  13. scottydl

    scottydl

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    ^^ We agree. :) It's not that you're breaking the law carrying against your department policy, but that's a serious enough violation that you probably won't have a job much longer if the poop-hits-the-fan and you end up shooting someone when not authorized to carry in the first place.
     
  14. MeefZah

    MeefZah Cover is Code 3

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    Then we diasgree to agree! :rofl:
     
  15. scottydl

    scottydl

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    I love it when that happens!