Illinois Recognized Officer Concealed Carry & Federal LEOSA

If your agency qualifies its own retirees, MTU1 recommends the below best practice documentation be supplied to the retired officer. These details satisfy the law and make life easier for your retiree in the event another law enforcement agency needs to verify the retirees status.

  1. Photo Identification from your Agency indicating Retired
  2. Date of last qualification (needs to be within last 12 months of when retiree is carrying)
  3. Indicate if they qualified with a revolver, semi-automatic or both (they can only conceal carry the same type weapon)
  4. 24 hour Contact Phone number for other agencies to verify status

Retirees have the option of also taking advantage of the Illinois Retired Officer Concealed Carry (IROCC) program, some choose to qualify with their home agency and IROCC because of traveling outside the state and verification is easier with IROCC.

To learn more about the Illinois recognized Officer Concealed Carry guidelines

Click here Federal Law signed 2004- Retired Officer Concealed Carry HR218 (.pdf)

Federal Law signed 2010- LEOSA improvement Act S1132 (.pdf) 

Illinois Legislation

Illinois Public Act 94-103 - Webpage Link

Administrative Code - Webpage Link

Misdemeanors listed in Police Licensing - PDF 

 

The below is only provided as Information found on the International Association of Retired Law Enforcement Officers website and MTU1 does not endorse it as any type of legal training/advice.

iarleo

18 USC § 926C - Carrying of concealed firearms by qualified retired law enforcement officers

06 Mar 2013

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a United States federal law, enacted in 2004, that allows two classes of persons undefined qualified law enforcement officer and the qualified retired law enforcement officer undefined to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions. The law did not limit or change an officer's authority within their own state or jurisdiction from carrying or to where a firearm is carried off duty or on duty under their own state law.

The act was introduced during the 108th Congress as H.R. 218. and enacted as Public Law 108-277. The law was later amended by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2010 (S. 1132, Public Law 111-272), and Section 1089 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310, Public Law 112-239). It is currently codified as 18 United States Code 926B and 926C.

The law and its amendments

Whether or not a person is privileged by the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) of 2004 and its amendments in 2010 and 2013 to carry a concealed firearm depends on whether or not he or she meets the federal definitions for either a qualified law enforcement officer or a qualified retired law enforcement officer. If a person meets the criteria, then otwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof, he or she may carry a concealed firearm in any state or political subdivision thereof. As a result, an individual who qualifies under LEOSA does not require a state-issued permit for carrying a concealed firearm. The privilege specifically does not extend to machine guns, destructive devices, or silencers.

Although LEOSA preempts state and local laws, there are two notable exceptions: he laws of any State that (1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property (such as a bars, private clubs, amusement parks, etc.), or (2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park

Additionally, LEOSA does not override the federal Gun-Free School Zone Act (GFSZA) which prohibits carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of elementary or secondary schools. Although the GFSZA authorizes on-duty law enforcement officers to carry firearms in such circumstances, off-duty and retired law enforcement officers are still restricted from doing so. Individuals must also obey any federal laws and agency policies that restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in certain federal buildings and lands, as well as federal regulations prohibiting the carriage of firearms on airplanes. It should be noted that for active law enforcement officers, the LEOSA does not limit or change any officer's authority within their own state/jurisdiction from carrying or to where a firearm is carried off duty or on duty under their own state law.

Debate has continued over the effect and scope of policies issued by individual law enforcement agencies in relation to their own employees, where such policies would appear to restrict the ability of a law enforcement officer to carry a firearm. Some argue that the law does not override the internal policies of a department or agency. However, when LEOSA was under consideration in the United States House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, considerable representations were made to the effect that it would override agency-specific policies, leading to opposition to the Act from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executive Research Forum, and the United States Conference of Mayors, which was expressed as a dissenting view in the report of the Committee. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) proposed an amendment to the Bill to provide that it shall not be construed to supersede or limit the rules, regulations, policies, or practices of any State or local law enforcement agency, but this amendment was opposed by the sponsors of the bill, and was rejected by the Committee 21-11, so the enacted law contains no such exception.

2010 amendment

In 2010, LEOSA was amended by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2010, which specifically extended coverage to include law enforcement officers of the Amtrak Police, Federal Reserve Police, and law enforcement officers of the executive branch of the Federal Government. The provisions for disqualification on mental health grounds and the provisions regarding qualifications to carry a firearm were amended, and the number of aggregate years for retired officers was reduced from fifteen to ten. Coverage was also expanded to include military law enforcement personnel. In addition the definition of a firearm was expanded to include any ammunition not prohibited by the National Firearms Act of 1934. This was done to exempt qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from the prohibitions against carrying hollow-point ammunition that is in force in New Jersey (except for their peace officers and active federal law enforcement officers) and a few other locations.

2013 amendment

In 2013, LEOSA was again amended by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2013, effective January 2, 2013 after President Obama signed Public Law 112-239 (H.R. 4310). Section 1089 of the NDAA contained language which further clarified that military police officers and civilian police officers employed by the U.S. Government unambiguously met the definitions in the original Act. The definitions of qualified active and qualified retired law enforcement officer include the term police officers and expanded the powers of arrest requirement definition to include those who have or had the authority to apprehend suspects under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Senator Patrick Leahy, a key sponsor of the bill, remarked The Senate has agreed to extend that trust to the law enforcement officers that serve within our military. They are no less deserving or worthy of this privilege and I am very pleased we have acted to equalize their treatment under the federal law. He further stated The amendment we adopt today will place military police and civilian police officers within the Department of Defense on equal footing with their law enforcement counterparts across the country when it comes to coverage under LEOSA.

Qualified law enforcement officers

In accordance with 18 USC 926B, a qualified law enforcement officer means an employee of a governmental agency who:

  1. 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 has statutory powers of arrest, or apprehension under section 807(b) of title 10, United States Code (article 7(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice);
  2. is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;
  3. is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency which could result in suspension or loss of police powers;
  4. meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;
  5. is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and
  6. is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.

Additionally, the individual must carry photographic identification issued by the governmental agency for which the individual is employed that identifies the employee as a police officer or law enforcement officer of the agency.

Qualified retired law enforcement officers

In accordance with 18 USC 926C, a qualified retired law enforcement officer is an individual who:

  1. separated from service in good standing from service with a public agency as a law enforcement officer;
  2. before such separation, was 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 had statutory powers of arrest or apprehension under section 807(b) of title 10, United States Code (article 7(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice);
  3. before such separation, served as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of 10 years or more; or separated from service with such agency, after completing any applicable probationary period of such service, due to a service-connected disability, as determined by such agency;
  4. during the most recent 12-month period, has met, at the expense of the individual, the standards for qualification in firearms training for active law enforcement officers, as determined by the former agency of the individual, the State in which the individual resides or, if the State has not established such standards, either a law enforcement agency within the State in which the individual resides or the standards used by a certified firearms instructor that is qualified to conduct a firearms qualification test for active duty officers within that State;
  5. has not been officially found by a qualified medical professional employed by the agency to be unqualified for reasons relating to mental health and as a result of this finding will not be issued photographic identification; or has not entered into an agreement with the agency from which the individual is separating from service in which that individual acknowledges he or she is not qualified under this section for reasons relating to mental health and for those reasons will not receive or accept photographic identification;
  6. is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and
  7. is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.

Additionally, the individual must carry either:

  • [Home Agency standard] photographic identification issued by the agency from which the individual separated from service as a law enforcement officer that identifies the person as having been employed as a police officer or law enforcement officer and 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 agency to meet the active duty standards for qualification in firearms training as established by the agency to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm; or
  • [IROCC standard] photographic identification issued by the agency from which the individual separated from service as a law enforcement officer that identifies the person as having been employed as a police officer or law enforcement officer; and a certification issued by the State in which the individual resides or by a certified firearms instructor that is qualified to conduct a firearms qualification test for active duty officers within that State that indicates that the individual has, not less than one year before the date the individual is carrying the 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; or if the State has not established such standards, standards set by any law enforcement agency within that State to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm.

Case law

The first known criminal prosecution against an individual asserting concealed carry privileges under LEOSA occurred in New York in People v. Rodriguez, Indictment No. 2917 (2006). Rodriguez was a full-time construction worker who was also employed as a Pennsylvania State Constable. He was arrested in New York City for criminal possession of a weapon. He testified in a hearing that he was authorized, qualified, and certified to carry a weapon in his state as a constable. The Court took judicial notice of the various Pennsylvania statutes that authorize constables to carry firearms, make arrests, serve process, and enforce the law. Upon applying LEOSA in terms of the known facts, the Court dismissed the charge against Rodriguez and held that he was covered by section 926B though constables are elected law enforcement officers and they lack government funding.

A number of other courts have held that Coast Guard boarding officers are qualified under LEOSA. In People Against Benjamin L. Booth, Jr., Indictment No. 2007-940 (2007), an Orange County, New York, county court dismissed a criminal charge against Booth, an off-duty member of the Coast Guard, who had been arrested for carrying a loaded handgun in a vehicle. The court held that Booth was authorized to carry a firearm while acting as a Coast Guard boarding officer, adding, Although the proof at the hearing indicates that the defendant engaged in a violation of rules, regulations and policies of the United States Coast Guard by possessing a handgun for which he had no license, these violations do not act to lessen the scope of LEOSA as it is applied in this instance.

Another Coast Guardsman, Reserve Petty Officer Jose Diaz, was arrested for carrying an unloaded handgun in a vehicle in San Fernando, California, in November 2007, but the charge was later dismissed and Diaz won a $44,000 settlement from the city for false arrest. The Coast Guard has issued a formal directive to advise Coast Guard personnel of which Coast Guard personnel are considered to be covered by LEOSA, and the limitations of such coverage.