Vol. 19 No. 14- HR 218 – CURRENT INFORMATION

September 14, 2004

The volume of calls and e-mails has not let up regarding the implementation of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (HR 218) and how it impacts on current and retired California law enforcement officers. For prior information see Client Alert Memos on our web site at www.jones-mayer.com.

Unfortunately, it is not up to the individual states to define the requirements in HR 218 but, rather, the federal government since it is a federal law.  Nonetheless, most states are making efforts to reach some consensus as to how to protect their law enforcement officers who choose to travel to other jurisdictions with concealed weapons.

In California, the Department of Justice is taking the lead in an effort to develop protocols which will accomplish this task. This morning a 2 ½ hour conference call was held amongst many “stakeholders” to try and resolve some of the more pressing concerns. The call involved those of us who are part of a “sub-committee” created by DOJ. An effort is being made to secure assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice to respond to numerous questions and concerns raised during the call. It is hoped that a meeting with U.S. DOJ can occur within the next 4 – 6 weeks to secure their advice and guidance.  Again, since HR 218 is federal law, the federal input is imperative.


In the interim, and until more definitive answers are secured, the following suggestions are made. It is most important to emphasize that these are merely recommendations and we strongly urge that each officer secure advice and guidance from his or her department’s legal advisor. Pursuant to the language set forth in HR 218 we believe the following is necessary to be able to legally travel to another state with a concealed weapon:

CURRENT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS must be able to verify, among other things, that they have statutory powers of arrest and are “authorized by the agency to carry a firearm.”  As such, we urge that an officer carries a current photo ID card from his or her agency, which states that he or she “has statutory powers of arrest” AND “is authorized to carry a firearm.” The law states, in sec. 926B(d), that “the identification REQUIRED by this subsection is the photographic identification issued by the governmental agency for which the individual is employed as a law enforcement officer.” (Emphasis added.)

RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS must be able to verify, among other things, that they “retired in good standing” (for reasons other than “mental instability”);  that “before such retirement (they) had statutory powers of arrest;” that they were “regularly employed as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of 15 years or more;” AND “not less recently than one year before the date the individual is carrying the concealed firearm” he or she met the standards for “training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm” which were established by the agency from which the officer retired OR the state standards in which the retired officer now resides.

It has come to our attention that some states are attempting to resist the impact of HR 218 regarding law enforcement officers going into their states with concealed weapons.  During the conference call it was noted that New York State will be insisting on all aspects of HR 218 being applied. That would include being able to prove that the out of state officer meets all of the HR 218 requirements – not just those set forth above. We suggest that you all review the law carefully. It can be accessed on the California DOJ web site at ag.ca.gov/firearms/index.html.