Law Enforcement Officers (LEO) – Who Qualifies May Surprise You

 LEO Qualifiers

leoIn our posts highlighting Law Enforcement, we have talked a lot about QUALIFIED Law Enforcement Officers (LEO).  What does that mean?  Individuals are deemed qualified law enforcement officers (LEOs) as a result of, but not limited to, their government employment status and are authorized to engage in direct crime prevention, conduct investigations, detect illegal activity, prosecute or confine individuals violating the law.

Law Enforcement Officers are in most cases authorized by their agencies to carry a firearm and must also carry on their person photo identification issued by the employing government agency.  But what happens to the privilege and responsibility of carrying a firearm once the LEO retires?

President Obama signed into law October, 2010, the-Law Enforcement Officers Safety Improvement Act amending the National Concealed Carry Law.  The provisions under both Safety Improvement Act and the Concealed Carry Law identify two classes of individuals: qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers.

The Act allows these qualified individuals to carry concealed weapons while off duty in any jurisdiction in the United States, including across states lines irrespective of state and local laws that make differ from the Act.  The exception to this broad provision is that private citizens have the right to forbid concealed weapons on their property.  States also have the right to forbid concealed weapons on its property.

To meet the standard for a qualified retired law enforcement officer, individuals must have separated from their employing agency in good standing whose duties and responsibilities were clearly outlined and encompassed the full range of duties as defined by what constitutes a law enforcement officer.  The individuals must have met within the most recent 12-month period firearm certification requirements from their employing agency and have also met the standards set by the State in which he/she resides. The individuals must also carry photo identification issued from the separating issue of which they were employed attesting to their status as a law enforcement officer (retired) with authorization to possess and carry a concealed firearm.  Fitness analysis of LEOs must not indicate any mental or emotional impairment.

Retirement planning is a signifcant item on the -To-Do-List.  Understanding the parameters in which LEOs can operate once in retirement is a very important aspect of the law to understand.  The Act is detailed, many of the amendments may require some extra review and evaluation.  There will also be many questions left in the minds of LEOs facing retirement and those already in retirement.  I am a strong advocate of educating and sharing information with as many people as I can.  My mantra has always been – Knowledge unshared is knowledge lost.

Utilize your human resources office often during your tenure as a federal employee, engage with LEO organizations, individuals and colleagues to discuss and share information and concerns.  If you are pondering as to how you are going to fill your time schedule when you retire, think about how much knowledge you have as a Law Enforcement Officer. You are a valued member of our nation. You might want to attach teacher, instructor, professor or consultant to your profile.

P. S.  Always Remember to Share What You Know.

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LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) FERS Supplement

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