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AFOSI - LEOSA Policy Change

QUANTICO, Va. -- AFOSI's policy on LEOSA has been updated. You can read details regarding the changes on the AFOSI public website main page under Latest News and Commentaries. Several documents have been loaded on this website for LEOSA ID Card applicants. The link for these documents can be found on the right side of the main page under Featured Internal Links. It is titled LEOSA and includes instructions and documents needed for the application process.

What is LEOSA? The Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004. This law was passed to allow Qualified Law Enforcement Officers (QLEO) and Qualified Retired Law Enforcement Officers (QRLEO) to carry concealed firearms in any jurisdiction in the United States, with certain exceptions.

What is a QLEO? In 18 USC § 926B(c), "qualified law enforcement officer" is defined as an employee of a governmental agency who: 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); is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm; is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency which could result in suspension or loss of police powers; meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm; 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.

Additionally, 18 USC § 926B requires that 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. On-duty status determines LEOSA-eligibility. Thus, as long as the person meets the definition of "qualified law enforcement officer" in an on-duty capacity, whether an officer is a full-time, part-time, or reserve peace officer is not relevant in determining whether a person is a "qualified law enforcement officer" under LEOSA. LEOSA's definition of "qualified law enforcement officer" does not include a requirement that a person have law enforcement authority off-duty.

What is a QRLEO? In 18 USC § 926C(c), "qualified retired law enforcement officer" is defined as an individual who: separated from service in good standing from service 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 or apprehension under section 807(b) of title 10, United States Code (article 7(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice); 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 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.

What recent amendments made changes to the original law? 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. 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. The concept of "retirement" was replaced with "separated from service" and the requirement that the retired officer have a non-forfeitable right to retirement benefits was eliminated.

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.

On February 13, 2014, DoD published Department of Defense Instruction Number 5525.12, titled Implementation of the Amended Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004. This policy set forth instructions for DoD agencies to implement the law.

What is the status of AFOSI implementation? QLEO: HQ AFOSI has updated policy to allow QLEOs currently serving in AFOSI to carry personal weapons off duty. QRLEO: The AFOSI policy has been revised to match the guidance outlined in DoDI 5525.12 and will begin accepting applications for those who now qualify.

For more information on AFOSI policy updates, got to www.osi.af.mil or call 571-305-8070. Go there to submit your AFOSI application. The information (to included instructions and related documents) will be posted on the public website. Additionally, AFOSI updates the Association of Former OSI Special Agents (AFOSISA) regarding the status of LEOSA. If a former member has less than 10 years of LE service with AFOSI, other qualifying years (such as Security Forces) count towards the minimum required years of service. Other service in qualifying agencies may be considered, but the member may need to provide additional documentation.