Smart proposal would increase public and law enforcement officer safety E-mail
Written by Jose Torres   
Congressman J. Randy Forbes from Virginia announced that he has introduced legislation to modernize federal firearms laws to increase public safety and ensure proper protection for law enforcement officers.

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Improvements Act of 2009, H.R. 3752, would improve current law to permit qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms.

"About five percent of law enforcement officers who die each year are killed while taking action in an off-duty capacity," said Forbes. "Convicted criminals often have exact memories, preventing law enforcement officers from ever being ‘off duty', whether active duty or retired.

"Not only is the ability of retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms a critical officer safety issue, but it just makes sense that trained officers should be prepared to respond immediately to public safety threats, regardless of whether they are off-duty or across state lines. This bill would make significant improvements to law enforcement firearm laws to increase safety for officers and the public."

Under current law, retired law enforcement officers must comply with complicated certification procedures to carry concealed weapons. Differing interpretations of the law often leads some states to refuse to issue the required documentation.

This bill - H.R. 3752 - seeks to establish uniformity and cut through the bureaucratic red tape by enabling a firearms instructor to certify that retired law enforcement officers meet the active duty standard for firearms training.

This would allow law enforcement officers who are retired or who separated in good standing after at least ten years of service to carry a concealed weapon.

Additionally, the bill would extend the right to carry a concealed weapon to current and retired law enforcement officers for a branch of the United States Armed Forces.

H.R. 3752 has been endorsed by the National Fraternal Order of Police and the International Union of Police Associations. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee where it awaits further action.

 


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