Court uses Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act
UPDATE: remember that for folks who take duty seriously, it goes beyond legally-enforceable duty. There are also duties, not enforceable in any court, that arise from (1) you feel them (and will feel dishonored if you do not carry them out, to hell with any court) or (2) your peer group does (i.e., anyone who does not follow them will be ostracized).
While I'm on a roll, here is a great move. I heard about it decades ago, no idea if it still works. There are federal laws against "double dipping" -- serve with one agency long enough to draw a pension, retire, get pension, go with another agency and take salary, too. BUT at least back then, Secret Service pensions were drawn thru the DC police department (reimbursed to them by the Feds), and thus not covered. So any federal LEO could move into or out of Secret Service upon retirement without violating the rule about double-dipping. Under the ordinary Fed rules you could retire at 55 if you started while young, and LEOs got an earlier date since they ran risks beyond paper cuts or repetitive motion injury while typing, so it was possible to retire at an age when a person still had a decade or so of ability to work.
And, yes, every fed bureaucrat thinks about retirement, starting about five years after hiring.
National Right-To-Carry! Where do I sign up? In Virginia I can be a volunteer deputy sheriff with just a few hours of classwork.
Posted by: Turk Turon at December 1, 2008 01:38 PM
I liked this statement:
... the crazy, confusing and often conflicted state and local laws that limit legitimate self-defense.
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at December 1, 2008 01:48 PM
Some animals are more equal than...yada yada yada.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at December 1, 2008 02:00 PM
While I wholeheartedly support nationwide CCW for all, I do think civilian carry vs. LEO carry are two different animals, not to be directly compared. I (disclosure there, I imagine) have a duty to act in defense of others and to intervene during the course of a felony while you do not. In fact, in most states, you have a duty to retreat. Them's the facts, at least for the time being.
Posted by: Chunk at December 1, 2008 02:08 PM
What's up with that link just under the story that ask "Is your Husband Gay" Could that have been put somewhere else on that page or maybe in the closet.
Posted by: Tom at December 1, 2008 02:30 PM
Well, the states CAN'T pass laws like this because of the 14th amendment. Equal protection and all that precludes giving ANYONE special laws.
According to Tucker, the only legitimate laws passed by ANY government must act equall and to the benefit of all governed.
Plus would ANYONE point out the controlling Constitutional provision giving Congress ANY authority over the topic of LEOs since police power was left solely to the states.
Posted by: fwb at December 1, 2008 02:46 PM
chunk are you a fed? If not, do LEO's have a duty to act in defense of others when not in their jurisdiction? They don't have authority to arrest someone outside of their jurisdiction right (unless they chased them there I assume)? Just curious. Please correct me if I'm wrong. thanks
Posted by: larry the internet guy at December 1, 2008 04:11 PM
Actually, I'm leaving my local gig for a federal agency. (yay!) While not able to make routine arrests outside of one's jurisdiction, I am dutybound to act in exigent circumstances.
Posted by: Chunk at December 1, 2008 04:30 PM
What do you mean when you say you are "dutybound" to act outside of your jurisdiction in "exigent circumstances"?
A state or local law enforcement officer, outside of his home state, has exactly the same legal rights and restrictions as anyone else, including the duty to retreat, where applicable.
Posted by: Sertorius at December 1, 2008 05:09 PM
Well, Chunk, your "duty" is more administrative than legal since the SCOTUS has repeatedly affirmed that police, even in their jurisdiction, have no legal obligation to act to protect any specific citizen.
This is not to say the duty you feel is not real but many people feel a duty to act in defense of their fellow man and moreover would act if permitted to carry a defensive weapon.
So while law enforcement national carry may have some merit but a duty to act does not place LEOs above others when that duty is nothing more than a personal commitment.
Posted by: JKB at December 1, 2008 07:06 PM
Chunk said :
I (disclosure there, I imagine) have a duty to act in defense of others ...
While you may feel or believe you have a duty to act in defense of others, the Supreme Court of the United States says:
No, you don't.
Castle Rock v. Gonzales 545 U.S. 748 (2005)
DeShaney v. Winnebago County 489 U.S. 189 (1989)
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at December 1, 2008 07:17 PM
JKB and all, Personal commitments are fine, and I respect them. That said, there is another principle at stake here. Namely, that unlike our parent country, England, there are no classes of nobility in the US. Among the accouterments of noble status in the old sod, was the right to bear arms (coupled with the duty to defend the monarch and so on). No such thing in the US thank God. All you LEOs should get the same as the rest of us. Thank you for your service, now get in line like us civilians. Oh, you want national CCW? So do the rest of us. In states like the one I live in, LEOs enforce unconstitutional legislation (I won't grace these legislative acts with the title "laws"). Now you get to figure out if you meant what you said when you swore the oath, or if you're in it for the money.
Posted by: RKV at December 1, 2008 07:39 PM
Chunk, I've gotta agree with RKV and others, you and your LEO brothers in arms are not a separate privileged class, and anyone who can pass a Federal background check (even that is a bit disturbing) should be able to carry legally nationwide, and also in the PFGRDC (Peoples Feel Good Republic of The District of Columbia). You have no legal duty to protect someone, on duty or off, any more than a citizen does, p[er the highest court in the land...
Posted by: doug in colorado at December 1, 2008 09:09 PM
I passed a Federal background check when I got a security clearance. That said, it was for work, and not for the exercise of an individual right enumerated in our Constitution. The very idea of background checks reduces a right to a privilege. And no, some people shouldn't own guns, because they are a) insane or b) convicted felons. Bust them if they're caught, otherwise, leave my rights alone.
Posted by: RKV at December 1, 2008 09:19 PM
Gosh, just for a moment I thought I was reading a conservative, constitutional law blog. Glad y'all set me straight.
BTW, FWIW, the LEOSA of 2004 was sponsored by a conservative organization (the Fraternal Order of Police), carried by a conservative Congress, and signed by a Conservative President.
Again, FWIW, ANY step towards a National Carry Law should be welcomed on these pages, not panned as being elitist because the current law (LEOSA) fits too few people.
Study the history of the LEOSA. You will find that it came about as a way to get more trained people carrying arms into "gun-free" areas. That's supposed to fit y'all's pistol, if I read you right.
Posted by: Rivrdog at December 1, 2008 11:36 PM
Rivrdog wrote, Again, FWIW, ANY step towards a National Carry Law should be welcomed on these pages, not panned as being elitist because the current law (LEOSA) fits too few people.
Rivrdog, Was it really such a step? That was 2004. It is now almost 2009. When is step number two? I am waiting. Oh, and where are all the vocal police organizations advocating step two? Articles in the IACP magazines? I have not seen those. The Chiefs of Police organizations in each state across the country come out and lobby against your right to bear arms, in uniform, and you were foolish enough to believe that HR 218 was a first step?
My, but you are gullible.
If you are in Georgia during the next legislative session, please stop by and say hello, and I will introduce you to the local Chiefs of Police at the General Assembly who are lobbying against the right to bear arms. I am sure you will have some questions for them.
Chunk, your life is not worth more than mine.
Posted by: Ed Stone at December 2, 2008 05:14 AM
Politicians pass gun laws that restrict the average "citizen" but do not effect the priviledged elite. They'll exempt LEOs which will ensure the LEOs enforce the laws regardless of their constitutionality. LEOs are happy being the obedient little servants of the politicans as long as they don't have to follow the same rules as the rest of us. Sorry LEOs, I no longer have respect for you because you enforce laws against us that violate our rights. I can't believe that at one time in my life I wanted to become an LEO. I quit the academy when I saw how they indoctrinate new members.
Posted by: Larry the cable guy at December 2, 2008 09:09 AM
Since neither the NRA or any other gun rights organization has advanced a "program" of steps to attain National Carry, it's just a guess as to what those steps might be, but the fact that at least 30 states are now "must issue" states might be that Step Two, and the fact that most of those 30 states recognize each others' permits might be Step Three.
The problems that all of we pro-2A people have are perfectly illustrated right here: no program and no unity.
You KNOW that all the gun-banners support each others' programs, and they don't spend bandwidth trying to rip each other apart, either.
This isn't kumbaya, but the VAST number of rank-and-file cops HATE the IACP for it's stand with the banners instead of those who support the 2A. The FOP is NOT the IACP, those two groups are about as far apart as could be.
The Chiefs get all the headlines, because any of them can call a news conference or issue a presser and it will always be covered or carried. All the rank and file can do is contribute their individual efforts.
Let's stop using those individual efforts to cut each other up, and start using them to protect the 2A.
Posted by: Rivrdog at December 2, 2008 01:47 PM
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." - Orwell
This approach (LEOs are special) is headed in the wrong direction, which is why the pushback. Things won't get better until we get everyone on the same page. Starting with those who have special privileges "feeling the pain," is a good place to start. Maybe then they'll speak up a bit louder than they do now when the chiefs go political on us.
Posted by: RKV at December 2, 2008 02:26 PM
I thought the next step after the LEO Safety Act should have been the "Veterans' Safety Act." Basically the same law just written towards anyone with Armed Forces training. Eventually followed by the "Citizens' Safety Act."
Posted by: Hank Archer at December 2, 2008 03:29 PM
RKV, you want "pushback". Does that mean you want to see the LEOSA rolled back?
I'm not a psychologist, just a retired cop, but I think I can identify jealosy when I see it. Cops aren't "special", and that's not why we got the LEOSA. We got the LEOSA because we united behind the FOP and fought successfully, one Representative at a time, and one Senator at a time, to get it.
Please tell me how these bouts of jealosy are going to get the next step done. I'm all ears.
Posted by: Rivrdog at December 2, 2008 08:20 PM
I am a retired Texas peace officer and qualify under the LEO Safety Act. However the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) decided that it had to get into the act and has adopted rules that apply to retired officers wishing to take advantage of the LEO Safety Act that are synonymous with registration which is why I have also refused to comply with Texas concealed carry licensing.
I have no problem with living with the laws as they apply to the rest of my fellow citizens of the state. After all, I was a paid employee of the cities of Dallas and Spur as well as the County of Dickens.
I read the LEO Safety Act just after it was passed and then did some research as to the debates in committee. The opposition to the act dealt with states’ rights. The opposing members of the committee were concerned that the federal government had no business passing a law that circumvented the firearm laws of the various states. I tend to agree. When governments take it upon themselves to “allow” citizens, whether the citizens are LEOs or not, to exercise a right, the government has stepped over the line. I WILL exercise my rights whether the government “allows” it or not.
Posted by: W. W Woodward at December 2, 2008 08:33 PM
Well Dog, amateur shrink that you are, you ought to check yourself for projection, because what I'm describing isn't jealousy. The rest of us consider the issue to be one of basic fairness. What's good for LEOs is good for civilians, and vice versa. No special privileges for (ex-)employees of the state (or feds for that matter).
Posted by: RKV at December 2, 2008 09:16 PM
I objected to the representation that LEOs had some "duty" that was greater than a private citizen who felt an obligation to protect his fellow man. I stand by that objection in that the Law Enforcement Security Act should not be predicated on the supposition that an LEO has a duty to protect since the duty is not enforceable and is personal. This is not to denigrate the noble calling of LEOs in dealing with the dregs of society on a daily basis.
However, the LESO does have a valid argument in that LEOs can be subjected to off-duty threats related to their performance on duty. Thankfully, the percentages are low but the allowance of LEO's to carry in all jurisdictions is low risk compared to the emergent risk of a LEO under threat due to his professional duties, i.e., an investigation threatening an organization or "upstanding member of the community". The act also avoids interference by senior officers who might prevent carry for many reasons placing individual officers at risk.
I have a close relative who is a LEO. When he was patrol in the projects the off-duty risk was minimal as most "streeet" criminals view LEO action as a cost of doing business. However, he joined a state agency and was responsible for investigating criminals with badges and corrupt politicians. My first comment when learning of his new duties was that those people will come or send people to your house to kill you. A corollary would be that killers and criminals with badges are unlikely to be deterred by a jurisdictional boundary. He even had a situation where he was required to keep is boss in the dark on an investigation as the boss was a political ally of the politician under investigation. In such a situation, should their have been a risk to the investigators, he could hardly seek his bosses approval for carry outside the state. As such, permitting LEOs to have national carry is in sum a benefit since the threat to random LEOs can be great while the risk of permitting national LEO carry is low and the odd criminal with a badge carrying would not, in net, be affected since they are criminals anyway.
Posted by: JKB at December 2, 2008 10:30 PM
JKB said "However, the LESO does have a valid argument in that LEOs can be subjected to off-duty threats related to their performance on duty. Thankfully, the percentages are low but the allowance of LEO's to carry in all jurisdictions is low risk compared to the emergent risk of a LEO under threat due to his professional duties, i.e., an investigation threatening an organization or "upstanding member of the community". The act also avoids interference by senior officers who might prevent carry for many reasons placing individual officers at risk."
Yeah I disagree with this because LEOs don't face any greater threat than any other citizen in any part of this country. In fact, I argue that citizens face a greater threat because we are the targets that criminals focus on in greater numbers. By your own reasoning, the percentages of criminals specifically target LEOs is very low. Sorry JKB but your reasoning in my opinion is an excuse to give special rights to an elite class.
JKB - I see that you have a close relative that is an LEO. Any chance that you are also an LEO or retired LEO?
Posted by: Larry the mechanic at December 3, 2008 06:02 PM