The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), often referred to as HR 218, allows qualified Law Enforcement officers (LEOs) and qualified retired LEOs (RLEOs) to concealed carry in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with some exceptions. It was enacted in 2004 and amended in 2010 and 2013. 18 U.S. Code §§ 926B & 926C Therefore, an individual who qualifies under LEOSA does not need a state-issued concealed carry permit in order to carry a concealed firearm in any state.
LEOSA/HR 218 applies to employees of governmental agencies who:
Are authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution of or the incarceration of any person for any violation of law, and has statutory powers of arrest or apprehension under 10 U.S. Code § 807, (article 7(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice);
Are authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;
Are not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency which could result in suspension or loss of police powers;
Meet standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;
Are not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and
Are not prohibited by federal law from receiving a firearm.
It is not enough to be a QLEO, see the photographic identification & firearms qualification section below.
In addition to the qualifications above, a qualified retired LEO must have:
Separated from service in good standing with a public agency as an LEO;
Served as an LEO for an aggregate of 10 years or more, or separated from service after completing any applicable probationary period due to a service-connected disability, as determined by the agency;
During the most recent 12-month period, met, at the expense of the individual, the standards for qualification in firearms training for active LEOs, 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; and
Has not been officially found by a qualified medical professional employed by the agency to be unqualified for reasons relating to mental health or has not entered into an agreement with the agency from which the individual is separating from service in which that individual acknowledges he or she is not qualified under this section for reasons relating to mental health.
It is not enough to be a QRLEO, see the photographic identification & firearms qualification section below.
It should be noted that for retirees carrying under LEOSA, the federal law grants you NO enforcement authority. You are merely a citizen with a nationwide concealed carry permit.
Although this list is not exhaustive, qualified officers include those that are employed by or have retired or been separated from the following agencies:
LEOs employed by public agencies;
Civilian police officers employed by the U.S. Government;
Military police officers;
Federal Reserve LEO; and
Officers of the executive branch of the federal government.
The individual must carry photographic identification issued by the agency for which he/she is employed or from which the individual separated from service. This identifies the person as being or having been employed as a LEO and indicates that the individual has been tested or otherwise found to meet the active duty standards for qualification in firearms training as established by the agency to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm within 1 year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm:
By the agency; or
By a certified firearms instructor that is qualified to conduct a firearms qualification test for active duty officers within that state or 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.
“Type” is not defined in the LEOSA law; however, the definition in the same code section, defines it as a handgun, rifle or shotgun. Please note that without a federal definition, states have interpreted this differently. Some consider the type of handgun, semi automatic or revolver; while others consider it to be the actual firearm used to qualify.