AZ DPS

LEOSA Questions And Answers

Common Questions Relating to LEOSA

 

 

 

Who is eligible to carry concealed firearms under this legislation? What is required under the LEOSA provision and what type of firearm may be carried?
Qualified law enforcement officers employed by or retired from a local, State or Federal law enforcement agency.

    As used in this section, the term “qualified retired law enforcement officer” means an individual who:
  • separated from service in good standing with a public agency as a law enforcement officer;
  • 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;
  • 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;
  • 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, of 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; and
  • 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 the photographic identification as described in subsection (d)(1); 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 the photographic identification as described in subsection (d)(1);
  • is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and
  • is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm.

Qualified retired law enforcement officers must carry the proper identification when carrying under the LEOSA provision.

    As used in this section, the identification required for qualified retired law enforcement officers is:
  • a photographic identification issued by the agency from which the individual separated from service as a law enforcement officer 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 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
  • a photographic identification issued by the agency from which the individual separated from service as a 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 1 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;


  • As used in this section, the term ‘firearm’-
  • except as provided in this subsection, has the same meaning as in section 921 of this title;
  • includes ammunition not expressly prohibited by Federal law or subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act; and
  • does not include-
  • any machine gun (as defined in section 5845 of the National Firearms Act);
  • any firearm silencer (as defined in section 921 of this title); and
  • any destructive device (as defined in section 921 of this title).

I am a fully sworn law enforcement officer with statutory law enforcement authority, but I work for a private university or other non-governmental employer. Will I be able to carry under the provisions of H.R. 218?
No. You must be an employee of a local, State or Federal governmental agency to carry a firearm under the provisions of this legislation.

My agency has a policy that does not allow me to carry my firearm while I am off-duty. Does this mean that this legislation will not benefit me?
If you are a qualified active law enforcement officer, you will legally be able to carry a firearm under the provisions of H.R. 218. There may be agencies which enforce or adopt policies, rules, regulations, or employment conditions which discourage or punish officers which choose to carry while off-duty, but such actions do not mean that the officer cannot carry under the provisions of the bill.

I am a retired officer— how do I qualify to carry under the provisions of this bill?
The legislation requires retired law enforcement officers to meet the active duty standards for qualification with a firearm in the State where they reside. Retired officers must qualify at their own expense through an authorized Arizona LEOSA Instructor and, once they do, submit an application, documentation and fee to the CWPU. Once approved, the CWPU will issue a certificate of firearm proficiency and the retiree will be able to carry the type of firearm (semi-auto, revolver or both) with which they have been qualified under the provisions of H.R. 218. Retired officers must carry this certificate in addition to the photographic identification issued by their former law enforcement agency.

Does this bill allow me to carry a firearm on an airplane?
No. This legislation exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from most State and local laws regarding the carrying of concealed firearms. The carriage of firearms on an aircraft is regulated by Federal statutes and airline policy.

Does H.R. 218 preempt state and local laws regarding firearms?
Yes, H.R. 218 specifies two exceptions:

This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that--

      1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or

      2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base,           or park.

This means private persons or businesses may post signs on their property indicating ”no firearms or weapons” are permitted and no one other than active duty law enforcement officers may bring a firearm onto the premises. Additionally, state or local governments may prohibit firearms on government property in a similar manner.

Can a person carrying pursuant to LEOSA carry a concealed firearm into a place that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises?
If the business is posted “No Firearms or Weapons” (or something similar), the person may NOT enter with a firearm (see question 6 above). If the business is not posted, a person carrying under LEOSA may enter with the firearm, however, the person is prohibited from consuming alcohol. How this law applies to active law enforcement officers will vary from state to state; contact that state for details. In Arizona, active peace officers may carry in on-sale liquor establishments.

I am not a resident of Arizona, but my home state will not issue a certificate of proficiency. Can I use an Arizona certificate of proficiency in my home state or elsewhere under LEOSA?
No. Federal law specifically states the certification must be issued by the state of residence in order for it to be valid. LEOSA certificates of proficiency issued by AZ DPS are only valid if issued to an Arizona resident who is also a qualified retired officer. Note - It does not matter what agency the officer retired from (Arizona or out of state).

Example 1: An officer retires from the Dallas PD, moves to Arizona, completes the LEOSA qualification and obtains the AZ DPS LEOSA certificate - this officer is qualified under LEOSA.

Example 2: An officer retires from Chicago PD and lives in Chicago. Because the officer can't find any law enforcement agency in Illinois who is conducting LEOSA qualification, this officer travels to Arizona and completes the LEOSA qualification and obtains the AZ DPS LEOSA certificate - this officer is NOT qualified under LEOSA and is at risk of being arrested if carrying a concealed handgun.