ATF Statement on the Passage of HR 218

HR 218 was touted as "Nationwide Concealed Carry for Cops" by its proponents, and it's my hope that it will someday lead to a standardized national concealed carry for private citizens. The folks at IALEFI sent me a link to the ATF's Statement on the passage of this law.

It's short enough to include here:

Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004
On July 22nd, President Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004, Public Law No. 108-277. The Act became effective upon the President's signature. The Act amends the Gun Control Act (GCA) to exempt qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from State and local laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed firearms.
The officers and retired officers eligible for the exemption are those meeting the Act's definition of “qualified law enforcement officer” and “qualified retired law enforcement officer.” Among other things, the Act's definition requires qualified retired law enforcement officers to meet, at their own expense, their State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers. Eligible active and retired officers must also possess certain identification. Active officers may use the identification issued by the government agency by which they are employed. Retired law enforcement officers must have identification indicating that they have been tested or otherwise found to meet firearms standards established for active law enforcement officers.
Qualified active and retired officers eligible for the exemption are still subject to certain provisions of the GCA. The Act specifically states that persons who are prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm are not eligible for the exemption. In addition, qualified current and retired officers must undergo a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) check if they are purchasing a firearm for their own use, and federal firearms licensees must still complete and retain required records under the GCA.

Notice that retired LEO's need to maintain their qualifications based on their state's standards for active duty law enforcement. This statement by the ATF does not go into particulars, however, as there are some additional caveats and details. Any ex-cop cannot just start carrying wherever they want. This ATF statement might also lead to the impression that one has to have all of the training an active duty cop has to go through, including diversity awareness. That, at least, is not necessary.

18 USC 44 Sec. 926B(c)(4) states:

(4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;

A later section (e) makes sure the law does not include machine guns, silencers, or destructive devices. It does leave long guns in play.

We also see that the person had to be a law enforcement officer for fifteen years or more.

Sec. 926C(c)(5) reiterates and expands:

(5) during the most recent 12-month period, has met, at the expense of the individual, the State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms;

Sec. 926C(d)(B) finishes it up:

(B) a certification issued by the State in which the individual resides that indicates that the individual has, not less recently than one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm, been tested or otherwise found by the State to meet the standards established by the State for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm.

The complete text of HR 218 is here.

Now I celebrate this new plateau for firearms rights, but there's room to improve it. My first suggestion is to push for the right of anyone who can meet the state's standard for active duty law enforcement and passes a NICS background check to be eligible for national concealed carry. Is this a pipe dream? I don't think so. I only ask that the cops who wanted my help getting HR 218 passed will help me when I try to get this passed.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Aug 19 2004 09:30 AM

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National Concealed Carry Reciprocity

Gun Owners of America has sent notice that Rep. John Hostettler will be introducing a bill for national concealed carry reciprocity... [Read more]

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Linked Tuesday, Mar 8 2005 03:57 PM


There are 5 comments on this entry.

I am a retired Deputy Chief of Police from New Jersey. I am a resident of Arizona,and would like to carry under H.R 218. I contacted the authorities in Arizona but they could not give me an answer as to where I can qualify with my weapon and receive a certificate of certification. Has anyone run into this problem. Any feedback would be appreciated.


Posted Friday, Apr 22 2005 04:36 AM

I am a retired calif deputy sheriff, i now reside in Colorado, and would like to qualify per hr 218, the sheriffs office where i live will not qualify retired police, i was told by jefferson county, that the sheriff does not want the liability, i WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION THIS WAS A FEDERAL LAW, what should i do?

fred c dobbs

Posted Wednesday, Jun 28 2006 09:47 PM

Contact Colorado's POST (police officer standards and training) office and see what they say. HR 218 refers to the State's standards and not to a local one.

Josh Poulson

Posted Thursday, Jun 29 2006 04:46 PM

Does this law also pertain to Federal facilities, such as National Parks, etc. that, for the most part, prohibit any firearms within their boundaries?

Robert Evans

Posted Sunday, Jul 15 2007 04:54 PM

HR 218, being a Federal law, should apply anywhere in the states and territories. You would still have troubles with Indian reservations, military facilities, and similar places, of course.

Joshua Poulson

Posted Sunday, Jul 15 2007 06:11 PM

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