We all know that New Jersey isn’t a place that’s friendly to gun owners. Onerous regulations and an impossibility to obtain a concealed carry permit make that point loud and clear. The state is also notorious for hammering people from out-of-state for just traveling through with weapons and ammunition that doesn’t comply with state law, ignoring federal regulations in the process.
LEOSA is a federal law, enacted in 2004, which allows two classes of people — 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 of state or local laws, with certain exceptions. The exceptions are that a state can restrict carry authority on private property (bars, amusement parks, etc.); a state can restrict carry on state property (courts, state office buildings, etc.); and on school grounds.
Officials amended the law in 2010 and 2013; in both cases LEOSA authority was actually expanding and enhanced.
LEOSA was enacted to ensure active and retired officers were protected from a patchwork of state concealed carry laws. It was also enacted to ensure that law enforcement officers — on or off duty — could be a force multiplier in the event something happens and an off duty or retired law enforcement officer is nearby to help. The recent mass shootings in California and Pittsburgh reinforce the need for law enforcement officers, of all generations, around the nation to be capable of being ready.
For starters, an officer must obtain a New Jersey permit to purchase and carry a firearm.
They are also not allowed to carry uniformly standard law enforcement hollow point ammunition, which ballistics have proven is more effective and less penetrating than full metal jacket ammunition (mandated by New Jersey).
If they want to carry across state lines, they must qualify at the same level as active officers.
These regulations essentially turn retired law enforcement officers into criminals if they comply with federal law but dare not comply with New Jersey’s overly restrictive regulations. Essentially New Jersey says, “LEOSA means nothing. You must get a separate permit (which involves a fee) and follow our rules.”
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