Washington, DC – President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on Monday afternoon that extended the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) of 2004 to include federal judges and prosecutors and made it easier for retired officers to get their LEOSA credentials.
LEOSA, which was passed in 2004, allows most retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed firearm in all 50 states and in U.S. territories regardless of local gun laws.
Under LEOSA, qualified retired local, state, and federal law enforcement officers may take an annual test and be issued a photo ID card credential that exempts them from local firearms laws.
But some law enforcement officers have had trouble getting their credentials because their departments are either unwilling or unable to issue the required retirement credentials.
Some states, for example, will only issue retirement credentials if an officer has completed more than 25 years of service with the department, according to Police Chief.
However, under the terms of LEOSA, any former officer who served 10 or more years in law enforcement is eligible for LEOSA credentials.
But former officers need retirement credentials to actually obtain the LEOSA card, causing a myriad of problems for countless qualified applicants, Police Chief reported.
The order changed the credentialing requirements to help retired law enforcement officers get LEOSA credentials even if they have not been issued formal retirement credentials.
“Federal law already allows Federal and State law enforcement officers to protect themselves by carrying a concealed firearm, but the Federal Government can do more to cut the red tape that Federal law enforcement officers must navigate to exercise their right,” President Trump’s order read.
The executive order said it would be U.S. policy “to remove any undue obstacle preventing current or retired Federal law enforcement officers from carrying a concealed firearm as allowed under [LEOSA].”
President Trump was direct and to the point about the problem he was solving.
The goal of that is to “prevent State and local governments from obstructing the ability of qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers, as those terms are defined by the LEOSA, from carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to the LEOSA, including by refusing to issue identification documents,” according to the executive order.
The President also directed the heads of law enforcement agencies to move quickly to identify the credentialing problems and obstacles and fix them.
“The heads of all agencies that employ or have employed qualified law enforcement officers or qualified retired law enforcement officers, as those terms are defined in the LEOSA, shall submit a report to the President, through the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, within 30 days of the date of this order, reporting on the implementation of this order and analyzing qualified persons’ ability to carry a concealed firearm under the LEOSA,” according to the executive order.
The executive order signed by President Trump on Jan. 18 also extended some LEOSA coverage to federal judge and prosecutors.
The move came after an assassin fatally shot a federal judge’s son and wounded her husband in an attack at their New Jersey home in July of 2020.
President-Elect Joe Biden has vowed to reverse numerous Trump administration executive orders and policies in the first 100 days of his administration; however, it isn’t known whether the LEOSA changes will be on his hit list when he takes office.
President Trump’s executive order also addressed the doxxing problem that grew by leaps and bound during the summer of nationwide riots following the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police.
He directed the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to coordinate a review of the feasibility of “facilitating the removal of, or minimizing the availability of, personally identifiable information appearing in public sources of judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers employed by the Federal Government.”
The order also directed the Attorney General to “promote the removal and minimization of personally identifiable information from public websites and records of current and former judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, as appropriate and as allowed under the Constitution.”
The order also said the Attorney General needed to make it easier for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers to use a U.S. Postal Service box address as their official home address.
That move came after a slew of doxxing incidents that resulted in the release of thousands of home addresses, phone numbers, and in some cases financial information of federal law enforcement officers.
In July of 2020, officials had to remove names from federal officers’ uniforms in Portland after 38 federal law enforcement officers in that area had their personal information posted online during the riots, FOX News reported.
President Trump’s order also assigned the Attorney General the task of getting money appropriated for additional Civil Disturbance Units to respond to riots and threats at federal buildings.