Federal legislation contained no funding to create state or local programs to qualify retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed weapon, there are few Montana agencies that offer such programs. While some smaller local agencies may qualify their retirees, such programs are not generally available in Montana and few retired Montana Law Enforcement Officers are therefore able to carry concealed weapons under this federal legislation.
Jerry Williams 406‐490‐1947
Agreement between the Attorney General’s office and the MPPA
Law Enforcement Officers Federal legislation signed in July 2004 exempts current and retired law enforcement officers from Montana’s concealed weapon statute. Any qualified law enforcement officer with proper identification can carry a concealed weapon, overruling state concealed weapons laws to the contrary.
Active Officers Under the federal law, a qualified law enforcement officer is defined as a current employee of a governmental agency who 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 who has the statutory powers of arrest. In addition, the law enforcement officer must:
be authorized by the agency to carry a firearm
meet the agency’s necessary qualifications to carry a firearm
be in good standing with the agency
not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
not be prohibited by federal law from carrying a firearm
The photographic identification issued by the governmental agency by which the individual is employed.
A badge qualifies as long as it has a photo ID with it.
In Montana, an officer’s P.O.S.T. certification fulfills the requirements of this act.
Retired Officers The federal legislation defines a qualified retired law enforcement officer as anyone who retired from service with a public agency as a law enforcement officer as defined above and did so in good standing. In addition, the individual must:
Have been a law enforcement officer a total of at least 15 years
Have completed the employer’s required probationary period, if retiring due to a service‐connected disability
Have a nonforfeitable right to benefits under the retirement plan of a law enforcement agency
Have met, during the most recent 12‐month period, at his or her own expense, the same standards for training and qualification to carry a firearm as are required for active law enforcement officers in his or her resident state
Not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Not be prohibited by federal law from carrying a firearm
a photo ID issued by the law enforcement agency from which the individual retired that indicates that he or she has met the same standards to carry a firearm as are required by that agency for active law enforcement officers, or
a photo ID issued by the law enforcement agency from which the individual retired, and a certification issued by the individual’s state of residence that indicates he or she has met, during the most recent 12‐month period, at his or her own expense, the same standards for training and qualification to carry a firearm as are required for active law enforcement officers in his or her resident state
However, because the federal legislation contained no funding to create state or local programs to qualify retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed weapon under this provision, there are few agencies that offer such programs. While some smaller local agencies may qualify their retirees, such programs are not generally available in Montana and few retired officers here are therefore able to carry concealed weapons under this federal legislation.
While a retired law enforcement officer may have a Montana concealed weapons permit, having that Montana permit does not meet the firearms qualifications required by the federal act and does not allow retired officers to operate under its provisions, either in Montana or when they travel out of state.
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