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5 things to know about the LEOSA Reform Act

The bill aims to fix many of the issues with LEOSA


LEOSA was signed in 2004 by then-President George W. Bush.

AP Photo/Al Behrman, File

By Police1 Staff

Earlier this year, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Reform Act (H.R. 1156) was introduced to Congress, aiming to fix many of the issues off-duty officers and retired cops have faced while concealed carrying since the passing of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). Here are five things officers need to know about the LEOSA Reform Act.

1. LEOSA was intended to allow LEOs to concealed carry anywhere in the United States.

LEOSA was signed in 2004 by then-President George W. Bush. The bill was intended to enable qualified active police officers and retired cops, “notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof,” to carry a concealed firearm at all times in any state without having to have a state-issued permit, in effect not being impacted by the individual concealed carry laws of each state.

2. Cops who qualify for LEOSA have run into problems in some states.

The key word above is “intended.” Although the law was supposed to supersede individual state laws, some of the language of the act was vague and, to this day, has caused issues for cops and retired officers in some states that interpret the law differently than others. For example, New Jersey and Hawaii are two states famously unfriendly to LEOSA.

3. LEOSA has been amended twice but still has issues.

In addition to the above problems, there are other issues and limitations with LEOSA. The law doesn’t cover certain areas like national parks. It doesn’t cover limits on magazine capacities. It allows states to ban weapons on state property like courthouses and private property like bars. It also doesn’t protect from the Gun-Free School Zones Act, which covers a significant amount of area throughout the country. And retired officers have run into difficulties with LEOSA’s qualification standards. This is all despite LEOSA being amended twice – in 2010 and 2013 – in an effort to strengthen it.

4. The LEOSA Reform Act addresses many of these problems.

The LEOSA Reform Act aims to fix many of these issues. Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon introduced the bill on Feb. 13, 2019, saying that “the core of the LEOSA Reform Act is about responsibility — a responsibility to provide greater public safety for law enforcement and our communities at home.”

The bill would significantly expand where qualified active LEOs and retired cops can carry, including in school zones, state and private property, and national parks. The bill addresses magazine capacity restrictions and amends the qualification standards for retired LEOs, allowing them to get certification from a wider variety of firearms trainers, according to the National Organization of Police Organizations (NAPO).

5. The reform is backed by some of the biggest law enforcement organizations.

Unsurprisingly, the reform has backing from a multitude of major law enforcement organizations, including NAPO, the Fraternal Order of Police, the FBI Agents Association, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service, the National Sheriffs Association and the ATF Association.


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