LEOSA And You

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), also referred to as HR 218, was originally enacted in 2013. Yet there's still some confusion to this day about the qualification requirements. That's because some of the wording seems ambiguous, especially as it relates to California. Here's my interpretation of LEOSA as it relates to firearms qualification. (Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this article does not constitute legal advice.)

  1. 926C(c)(4) requires retired officers meet the firearms qualification standards of their former agency or the State in which they reside. There's additional wording if the State doesn't have standards, but California has Penal Code 832. Yes PC 832 requires completing an introductory training course (which includes firearms), but lacking a State-wide requalification standard, PC 832 is all we have.
  2. 926C(d)(2)(B) states any POST-certified firearms instructor may conduct the firearms qualification.
  3. 926C(d)(2)(B)(I) mentions qualifying "to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm." There's no clarification about what "type" means, although "firearm" is defined in Section 921(a)(3). 921(a)(5) defines shotgun, (a)(7) defines rifle and (a)(29) defines handgun. Based on that some people believe the only firearm types (for the purposes of this section) are shotgun, rifle and handgun. If that were the case then why not just say handgun? I believe the phrase "type as the concealed firearm" means revolver or semi-automatic pistol. Others more narrowly construe type to mean the specific make and model of handgun. Since there is no clear definition of "type" in this context, I believe the broader definition (revolver or semi-automatic) is sufficient.

As a refresher, here's the PC 832 qualification course of fire:

  • Fire 36 rounds of ammunition and achieve a minimum score of 29 hits in the 7-ring (23.5"h x 15.75"w) on a B-27 target
  • 12 rounds fired from 3 yards in 30 seconds
  • 12 rounds fired from 7 yards in 30 seconds
  • 12 rounds fired from 15 yards in 45 seconds

So there you have it. Everything you need to know about the annual LEOSA firearms qualification. If you'd like to read the actual code, here it is. (Note: sections of the code have been ommitted for clarity.)

18 U.S. Code §926C states:

(a) An individual who is a qualified retired law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm.

(c) As used in this section, the term “qualified retired law enforcement officer” means an individual who—

(c)(1) separated from service in good standing from service with a public agency as a law enforcement officer;

(c)(2) 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;

(c)(3)(A) before such separation, served as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of 10 years or more; or

(c)(3)(B) separated from service, after completing any applicable probationary period, due to a service-connected disability, as determined by such agency.

(c)(4) 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, if 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.

(d) The identification required by this subsection is—

(d)(2)(A) a photographic identification issued by the agency from which the individual separated from service as a law enforcement officer that identifies the person as having been employed as a police officer or law enforcement officer; and

(d)(2)(B) 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—

(d)(2)(B)(I) 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;

(d)(2)(B)(II) if 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.

(e) As used in this section—

(e)(1) the term “firearm”—

(e)(1)(A) except as provided in this paragraph, has the same meaning as in section 921 of this title.

18 U.S. Code §921 (Definitions) states:

(a) As used in this chapter—

(a)(3) The term “firearm” means

(a)(3)(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.

October, 2018
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