FLEOA Fights N.J.’s Illegal LEOSA Rules

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) mandates that all active and retired law enforcement officers ("LEO’s”) be able to carry a concealed firearm anywhere in the United States subject to certain conditions, overriding most contrary state and local laws. See S. Rep. No. 108-29, at 4. The Act’s purpose was two-fold – to protect active and retired officers and their families from "vindictive criminals,” and to enable such officers to "respond immediately” to crimes spanning multiple jurisdictions. Id.; see also H.R. Rep. No. 108-560, at 4. The LEOSA provides that, "[n]otwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof,” a "qualified law enforcement officer” or "qualified retired law enforcement officer” "may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce,” so long as the individual also carries the requisite identification. 18 U.S.C. §§ 926B(a), 926C(a). The LEOSA preempts state firearm regulation. Contrary to the LEOSA, the New Jersey Attorney General in a recently issued "Guidance,” reiterated its policy that requires a LEOSA qualified retired LEO, who permanently resides in New Jersey, to annually apply to the New Jersey State Superintendent of Police for a permit to carry a firearm, under onerous criteria, the issuance of which is wholly discretionary, not mandatory. See N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6(L), and Guidance recently issued by the New Jersey Attorney General.

New Jersey has historically attempted to find ways to limit LEOSA’s application to New Jersey residents. This "Guidance” is directly contrary to LEOSA. Under LEOSA, states have a mandatory duty to recognize the right to carry that LEOSA establishes. Congress did not afford states the discretion to redefine either who are qualified law enforcement officers or who is eligible for the LEOSA right.

Attached is a letter which has been sent to the Attorney General of New Jersey noting FLEOA’s objection to a recent "Guidance” issued by the Attorney General. We will await a reasonable period of time for a response. If necessary, Outside Counsel will take necessary and proper steps to remedy this objectionable conduct of New Jersey Public Officials.

Read the letter from FLEOA's Outside Legal Counsel