Is There a National Concealed Carry License?

Jesse MathewsonGeneral TopicsLeave a Comment

concealed carry laws

What is the national concealed carry qualification?

Graphic By Jeff Dege

In 2004 the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) was enacted in the United States. This law allows to classes of persons, the qualified Law Enforcement officer” and the “qualified retired or separated Law Enforcement officer” to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States or United States Territories, regardless state or local laws with minor exceptions.

At this time this is the only national carry or national concealed carry law on the books. It should be noted that this article is not meant to offer legal advice merely to allow others to better understand LEOSA and national carry restrictions or allowances.

This article is meant to clarify what is legally allowed and not allowed for the qualified, or qualified separated or retired Law Enforcement that may be reading this article. Additionally the article is meant to explain what it takes to maintain and keep as well as use the LEOSA permit.

Here is the law paraphrased, “Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce…” (LII / Legal Information Institute, 2004)

So what is a qualified law enforcement person? In most states, commonwealths and territories have codified Law Enforcement training centers. These are known as P.O.S.T. or Peace Officer Standards and Training. While some locations within the United States have differing qualifications for firearms training, these differences are relatively minor.

A qualified Law Enforcement person is one that is active duty with no behavioral or legal restrictions or who has served 10 years or more as a federal, state or local POST certified or federally certified law enforcement officer.

If you search this term in your browser replacing your state with your states name, “(your state) LE POST” it will pull up information on your states qualifications. For non LE concealed carriers if you can train and pass a verified course of fire for your states LE POST qualifications this can be beneficial if you have to use deadly force in defense of self.

I suggest getting the target you passed on signed by a range master on duty who can verify you passed it and whichever instructor or other person attended, a minimum of two witnesses for legal reasons, sign and date!

Legally this law has seem some blow back, specifically in New York state, the District of Columbia and California. Thankfully, each case saw the defendants who were in fact Law Enforcement officers or agents cleared and has set precedents supporting the initial LEOSA law.

In 2006 Arthur Rodriguez a Pennsylvania Court Constable was found in a New York court ruling to qualify for protection under LEOSA. In 2012 Barbusin a special police officer of the District of Columbia Protective Services Police Department was found to have satisfied the LEOSA’s broad definition for qualified law enforcement.

In 2008 a Coast Guard reservist named Booth was found to be a law enforcement officer and his rights were upheld in a ruling in, surprise, surprise, New York again. The ruling stated that his job was to “prevent, detect and enforce federal law” as a coast guard service man. California arrested Jose Diaz in 2007 for having a loaded firearm in his vehicle in San Fernando.

The charges were dismissed and the subsequent lawsuit filed for violation of civil rights was settled outside of court by the city, the city redrafted the police training standards on LEOSA. (Baranowski, 2014)

Directly quoting the article – Does the LEOSA carry law apply to you, “On Jan. 2, 2013, LEOSA was amended to specifically allow for active and “retired” (as defined by LEOSA) military and DOD police and law enforcement officers with UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) apprehension authority to qualify for the statute; however, also hidden within the amendment was language mandating that all QLEOs now carry a photographic ID that “identifies the employee as a police or law enforcement officer of the agency,” and that QRLEOs carry a photographic ID “that identifies the person as having been employed as a police or law enforcement officer.” (Baranowski, 2014) If you go to the LEOSA website they offer the ability to easily sign up for a national carry identification card allowing ease of use and carry. Click here, LEOSA, and make sure to read it and ask them questions as needed.

Another solid resource is found on PoliceOne under LEOSA. As a civilian who has trained and taught Law Enforcement and various military over the course of two decades I can say that PoliceOne authors are almost all slanted away from law abiding civilian carry.

Given that law abiding civilian carriers outnumber every other demographic that carries it may be a beneficial idea to work with us rather than join the loud cries against our carrying.

Obviously, not all civilians are trained well enough to carry in a trustworthy manner, however, during my training of law enforcement and military over the years it is no small wonder that friendly fire is a rather high statistic there as well.

Training is essential whenever deadly force is prepared for in any way. I would suggest that training be increased if you plan in carrying regularly. Never relax completely, never let your guard down to your own potential missteps and more importantly live in yellow, relaxed but aware.

It is not a negative and given statistical evidence that the largest percentage of incidents occur close to your home, this is a reason to be more aware of your actions when at home.

This leads into the current desire for law abiding civilians who are wanting a national carry law to be enacted. Given the current political climate a national carry law would be at best a two edged sword with the handle of the sword also being a blade.

National carry would allow a much easier time collecting data on law abiding carriers, currently data is collated at a national level using the background checks performed at the time of purchase as well as the various state issued permits.

Regardless what is said, all of this data is collected. What is not done at this time is keeping it all in one database. Between social media, digital communication and the various state and federal steps needed for law abiding firearms ownership most of the firearms bought and sold over the past three or four decades can be quickly and easily traced through purchasers and even past that level if the firearm was sold to others.

National carry could be easily used to come down on law abiding citizens who carry for self defense if the political winds changed more than they already have. Currently there are many very vocal people who disparage law abiding carry, even though not a single law abiding person has ever committed a crime using a firearm. After all, the very nature of the term precludes the commission of crimes.

In addition to the political issues there are the media and social media pushed emotional views based in spurious lackadaisical “truths” which have been promoted as “facts.” Some of these are, gun owners are more likely to commit crimes, etc. et, al., promoted by any town and the brady camp. The real facts are simple, criminals do not care if you are black, white, red, female, male, trans, gay, straight or a horse. If you have what they believe they should have, they will commit crimes against you.

Certainly depending on areas and demographics some demographics are more likely to commit crimes. However, when you look at the facts you will quickly find that the myths behind mass murder and or mass shootings are just that.

Myths and the reality is every single one of the individuals who committed one of these crimes was bat shit crazy insane. And yes, mass murder occurs and has occurred more frequently with much higher body counts in many nations in Europe, Asia and even Africa than in the United States.

What you will not find as often outside of the United States is the use of firearms to prevent mass violence, or to stop it. In fact, outside the United States and in fact in many states in the United States people have become the equivalent of sheep, they bleat and complain making an awful racket and have lost almost all ability to care for themselves in any real manner.

If you can carry legally, do so, regardless your status as a privileged badge carrier or not. If you cannot carry legally, move. I have not found a single instance of voting or political action that does not negatively affect far more people than it helps. This is why I say move. I understand that many readers regardless side they support will rabidly state their objections.

However, none can rationally argue that I am incorrect. As I am not insane, I choose to personally not repeat the same actions endlessly in a futile hope that it will somehow make life better. Rather, I have dedicated my life to raising my children, training and being prepared as best I can.

I hope you also consider investing as much time in your children as you may invest in your social media accounts. (It should be noted I do not have social media accounts, I do have social interactions in person with others as well as gardens, children, animals and the regular constant acquisition of more knowledge which I than put into practice, something so many walking dictionaries fail to do.)

If you enjoyed this article or have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below!

Free the mind and the body will follow…

Jesse Mathewson BSCJA et, al.,

520 249 8495


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