03.04.10

Panel Advances Leahy-Authored Bill To Improve Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act,

Permitting Qualified Retired Officers To Carry Weapons Across State Lines

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday advanced legislation authored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to improve the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA).  The legislation would make necessary improvements to the Act, which permits active and qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms across state lines.  Leahy was a lead author of the Act, which was signed into law in 2004.

Leahy, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, introduced the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act last May.  The bill was approved by the Judiciary Committee twice in the last Congress.  The legislation would make the LEOSA certification process more flexible for active and qualified retired officers, and would provide more uniform standards for eligibility.

“The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act will address several challenges that qualified state, federal and local law enforcement officers have experienced in obtaining certification under LEOSA,” said Leahy.  “I have always had great confidence in those who serve in law enforcement and their ability to exercise their privileges under this legislation safely and responsibly and I am pleased to be able to respond to their concerns to improve the existing law.  I hope the Senate will approve this legislation without delay.”

The legislation is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Association of Police Organizations, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. 

In addition to other improvements, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act will:

  • Provide flexibility for retired officers to meet the firearms testing requirements necessary for LEOSA certification
  • Reduce from 15 to 10 years the required years of service for a former law enforcement officer to qualify under the current law
  • Amend the current law to provide clear standards and procedures concerning mental health issues and LEOSA certification

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

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