Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

LEOSA Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Friday, December 5, 2014

THE FOLLOWING PROVIDES ANSWERS TO SOME OF THE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS SAFETY ACT (LEOSA).

  • Does the agency who qualifies me need to make a record of the make, model, caliber, or serial number of the firearm I qualify with?

    No. LEOSA does not require the agency to maintain this information. This is a frequent concern given the statute's use of the term "type of firearm." LEOSA authorizes the carrying of a "concealed firearm" of the same "type" the individual receives certification for. As there is no case law interpreting this wording, the word "type" should be read to conform with the dictionary definition; something distinguishable as a variety. Accordingly, "type" of firearm should be read to mean either long gun or hand gun, which would permit you to carry any type of legal long gun or hand gun based on your qualification and not one particular make, model, or caliber. As an action outside of LEOSA requirements, the creation and maintenance of a database may expose the agency to liability, as discussed below.

  • The agency who qualifies me wants me to shoot their uniformed officer course of fire, rather than an off-duty or back-up course of fire. What does the law require?

    The law is not clear, and only requires an individual to meet the active duty standards for qualification. An individual exercising their rights under LEOSA is not provided with the authority to act as a law enforcement officer, and is simply authorized to carry a concealed firearm based on their status. Accordingly, it would be advisable for agencies to use the off-duty or back-up course of fire. Mandating the use of uniformed standards requires an individual to meet standards designed for law enforcement purposes, while an individual carrying a firearm under LEOSA is not acting as a law enforcement officer, as they are either retired, or out of their jurisdiction.

  • Do I have to prove each year that I am still eligible to qualify by submitting to a background check, or is the identification card I was provided at separation sufficient?

    No. The identification card is sufficient. As addressed below, some departments are now requiring background checks before issuing identification cards. Such unwarranted overregulation exposes that department to liability. The statute does not require a background check, and when issuing an identification card the agency is only providing certification with regard to one's past employment status; a statement of fact. Any department that requires a background check is creating more than just a statement of one's employment status, which may expose the requesting agency to liability.

  • Does the agency I retired from, or the agency that qualifies me, have any liability or concerns for qualifying me?

    No, LEOSA places the liability on the individual; however, many agencies are trying to impose unjustified requirements before issuing identification cards or training certification, such as background checks. Identification cards are simply a statement of fact by the agency that the individual is either an active duty or retired law enforcement officer. Requiring additional information to obtain an identification card makes it something more, and by doing so exposes the agency to liability. The same is true for agencies which perform the firearms qualification certification. Any additional procedures required by the agency other then simply meeting their active duty standards creates a situation where the agency is certifying more then the statute requires, and in some cases, the uniformed standards qualification course/test may be seen as providing training in the use of a firearm in a law enforcement role, which may expose them to liability. Remember, LEOSA is a program for CIVILIANS who used to be cops, or cops out of their jurisdiction. LEOSA should be administered like driver's licenses issued by your state; you are just certifying that a standard was met. Your state does the same with a driver's license, showing you met their standard. If you are in a wreck while driving, your state motor vehicle department isn't liable for your actions because you have their driver's license.

  • The department I retired from will not give me retirement credentials, what can I do?

    This is a question we are encountering far too frequently, and regrettably there is no clear guidance that can be provided. LEOSA does not bestow either an explicit right to obtain the required identification or a federal remedy for a state agency's failure to issue one. Such refusal is foolish policy but it is a political issue, not a legal one.

  • I am active duty or retired military/DoD police. Does LEOSA apply to me?

    Yes. On January 2nd, 2013 LEOSA was amended to specifically allow for active and "retired" (as defined by LEOSA) military and DoD police and law enforcement officers with UCMJ apprehension authority to qualify for the statute; however, a standard CAC or blue retiree card will not work for LEOSA purposes as the photographic ID must identify the individual as either being actively or having once been employed as a police or law enforcement officer of the agency. The DoD's LEOSA policy, DODI 5525.12 (included as a link on our LEOSA homepage) was recently amended to address this issue.

  • I have a Concealed Carry Permit/License issued by my state. I am also active/retired law enforcement. Am I allowed to carry in all states?

    No. A state issued concealed carry permit or license is entirely different from the ability to carry a concealed weapon under LEOSA and has no relation to your service as a law enforcement officer. Your state's permit may qualify for reciprocity with other states, but it does not qualify you to carry in all states. Check with the State Police or the State's Attorney General's Office before carrying a concealed firearm in any state exercising reciprocity with the state of your permit/license, as laws change frequently and a state which previously recognized your permit may have changed its law.

  • I left my agency after serving 11 years and did not retire. Do I qualify for LEOSA?

    Yes. LEOSA previously required retirement after an aggregate of 15 years service as a law enforcement officer. The October, 2010 amendments to the statute changed the requirement for a qualified law enforcement officer to an individual that separated (not necessarily retired) from service as a law enforcement officer after serving an aggregate of 10 years or more. For medical separation/retirement, see below.

  • I completed my probationary period as a law enforcement officer, but was injured shortly thereafter and separated from the agency due to a service-connected disability. Do I qualify under LEOSA?

    Yes, if your agency determined that you had a service-connected disability and you were separated after completing any applicable probationary period. You must also meet the additional requirements contained in the statute.

  • I served three years at one agency and seven at another before separating. Do I qualify under LEOSA?

    Yes. As long as your service at both agencies meets the requirements contained within the statute, you will have served an aggregate of 10 years and are considered a qualified retired law enforcement officer under the statute. The problem for you will be obtaining a retired identification card, as your current agency will likely require proof of service from your first agency which they may or may not recognize. See question 4 above regarding the issuance of identification.

  • My agency will not provide me with the required firearm certification. What can I do?

    You do not need to obtain the certification from your agency. Often, it is far easier to obtain the certification from another agency in the state or a qualified firearms instructor. LEOSA requires that you have, not less than one year before the date you are carrying a concealed firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the state or a certified firearms instructor that is qualified to conduct a firearms qualification test for active duty officers within that state to have met the active duty standards for qualification in firearms training, as established by the state, to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm. If your state has not established standards, standards set by any law enforcement agency within your state to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm may be used. For "type," see question #1 above.

  • I meet all of the requirements contained in the statute, but I am a reserve officer. Do I qualify?

    There are two sections of LEOSA which provide for the ability of Qualified Law Enforcement Officers and Qualified Retired Law Enforcement Officers to carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states. The first section deals with current law enforcement officers, and the second deals with retirees. Neither section draws a distinction between active duty and reserve officers. In October of this year, the language for the "retired" section was changed to allow for individuals that meet all of the requirements of the statute and who separated after 10 years of aggregate service as a law enforcement officer (or who separated after any applicable probationary period due to a service-connected disability, as determined by the agency) but who did not formally "retire" to be "qualified retired law enforcement officers" under the statute. Accordingly, as long as an individual meets all of the requirements of the statute it makes no difference if they are active or reserve, and they would be qualified to carry under LEOSA.

  • I have another question about LEOSA.

    Questions can be directed to ILAlegal@nrahq.org.

TRENDING NOW
Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

On May 21st, the Illinois state House Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 to pass House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966.  While it has not yet been scheduled for further action, the House may take it ...

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

On May 20th, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington rejected a motion by the government defendants to dismiss the lawsuit filed by NRA and the SAF against Washington’s gun control ...

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Monday, May 20, 2019

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Last week, the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their respective suspense files ahead of the Friday, May 17, fiscal deadline. Some of the more egregious gun bills failed to meet the deadline including ...

California: DOJ Submits Proposed Regulations Regarding Upcoming Ammunition Transfer Background Check Requirements to Office of Administrative Law

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

California: DOJ Submits Proposed Regulations Regarding Upcoming Ammunition Transfer Background Check Requirements to Office of Administrative Law

Beginning July 1, 2019, all ammunition transactions in the state of California will be subject to a background check requirement.  But in order to implement this requirement, the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) must first ...

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday for signing NRA-backed legislation that protects tenants’ rights by prohibiting “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.   

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

News  

Hunting  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

When I started with NRA in 1995, most of the attention our organization received was over legislative efforts in Congress. Firearm-related legislation at the federal level obviously has an impact on far more law-abiding gun ...

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully ...

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

Can we finally put the claim that “gun violence” research is underfunded to rest? The Bloomberg Professor of American Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Webster, and his colleagues at the Hopkins ...

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens does not believe a law-abiding citizen has a right to possess firearms under the Second Amendment, and he wants to make sure everyone knows it. He made his ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.