AZ DPS

ABOUT THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS’ SAFETY ACT (LEOSA) H.R. 218/S. 1132

On July 22, 2004, the United States Senate passed H.R. 218, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act” by unanimous consent and was subsequently signed by President George W. Bush.

The bill exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from select local and State prohibitions on the carrying of concealed firearms. It does not provide police officer liability protection, nor does it completely exempt active or retired officers from all state laws regarding carrying concealed firearms.

On August 12, 2005, Arizona HB 2450 took effect which allows the Concealed Weapons Permit Unit (CWPU) to issue a “Certificate of Firearms Proficiency” to qualified retired law enforcement officer applicants who are Arizona residents.

On October 12, 2010, President Barack H. Obama signed S. 1132, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act,” into law. The Act, now Public Law 110-272, went into effect immediately.

The bill to improve the ability of retired officers to comply with the documents required by existing Federal law when carrying a firearm under 18 USC 926C and makes other modifications to existing law.

Arizona – Certificate of Firearms Proficiency
Retired officers must qualify with the type of firearm they wish to carry and pass a judgmental shooting evaluation. Applicants must qualify through an AZPOST certified firearms instructor approved by the CWPU. The instructor will provide the applicant with an application form once the qualification course has been completed. Active duty peace officers do not need this certificate; they may carry using their law enforcement credentials.

The firearm qualification will consist of the standard AZPOST requirements (50 round course, ranges of 25, 15, 7 and 3 yards, minimum passing score is 210). The TQ 15, TQ 19 or TQ 21 targets may be used.

Judgmental shooting evaluations can be accomplished by a variety of approved means to include the use of FATS/Range2000 units, “friend or foe” targets, video scenarios, etc. This portion of the qualification must follow AZ POST requirements.

Application and documentation for a Certificate of Firearms Proficiency
Required application documents include: a completed LEOSA application signed by the instructor, a photocopy of the applicant's photographic identification credentials, a letter from the agency where the officer was employed and the appropriate fee. Fingerprint cards are not required as no background check is conducted.

The agency letter must be on agency letterhead and include the applicant’s name, employee or badge number, dates of employment, and employment status. The letter must also contain the name, identification number, and contact telephone number of an individual within the agency who can verify the information provided. Use the CWPU LEOSA form letter as all others will be rejected unless arrangements have been made with the CWPU.

If a certificate of firearms proficiency expires, the former certificate holder may obtain a new certificate by complying with all of the requirements in Arizona Administrative Rule R13-9-402.

Certificates are valid for one year, beginning from the date the qualification was completed. Certificates are not CCW permits; they are simply documentation that the training/qualification has been completed. The certificate must be carried along with the retired officer's credentials when carrying a concealed firearm.

Nothing precludes individual law enforcement agencies from qualifying their own law enforcement officers and issuing their own certificate of firearms proficiency credentials.


To Obtain a Certificate of Firearms Proficiency (Separated/Retired Law Enforcement Only):
  1. Locate an Instructor who is authorized to conduct the LEOSA qualification and establish a qualification date.
  2. Complete the AZPOST firearms qualification course with the type of firearm you will carry (semi-auto, revolver, or both).
  3. Obtain the application from the instructor. Ensure they complete their portion and you fill out the rest.
  4. Submit the application packet, which includes: the completed application, a letter from your agency, a photocopy of your photographic identification credentials issued by your agency and the applicable fee in the form of a cashier’s or certified check or money order payable to AZ DPS; to the address listed on the application.
To Renew a Certificate of Firearms Proficiency:
  1. Locate an Instructor who is authorized to conduct the LEOSA qualification and establish a qualification date.
  2. Complete the AZPOST firearms qualification course with the type of firearm
  3. Obtain the application from the instructor. Ensure they complete their portion and
    you fill out the rest.
  4. Submit the application packet, which includes: the completed application and the applicable fee in the form of a cashier’s or certified check or money order payable to AZ DPS; to the address listed on the application.
Note: For renewal submissions, you do NOT need to submit the letter from your agency or the photocopy of your credentials, UNLESS your LEOSA certificate is expired.
       
Normally, you will receive your certificate within seven to ten business days. The LEOSA certificate is valid for one year from the date of qualification.

Note: If the LEOSA certificate of firearms proficiency is expired you may not carry concealed under the LEOSA provision.