Last year, a coalition of retired federal law enforcement officers and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association sued the Garden State for denying their right to carry under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). That lawsuit just forced a policy change in the state that should allow more law enforcement officers to carry.
LEOSA is a federal law that preempts state laws and allows current and retired law enforcement officers to carry without state-issued permits. Under the statute, agency-issued credentials effectively act as a permit to carry. Despite this clear statutory mandate, New Jersey refused to allow credentialed federal officers who resided in the state to carry without a state-issued permit.
Several law enforcement officers challenged New Jersey’s policy requiring them to get permits to carry in federal court. The state tried to get the case dismissed, which prompted NRA-ILA and the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs to file an amicus brief supporting the officers. New Jersey then seemingly recognized that its position was wrong and backtracked by withdrawing its motion to dismiss the case, which allowed the case to continue.
Now New Jersey has backtracked even further and seemingly abandoned its position. It changed its LEOSA Frequently Asked Questions page and admits that people like the retired officers who brought the lawsuit can carry without state-issued permits. It’s a shame that it took a lawsuit to force this change, but the new policy is more in line with LEOSA.
Please stay tuned to www.nraila.org for future updates on this and all of ILA’s efforts to defend your constitutional rights.