I have always been amazed by police officers who do not carry a firearm off-duty.
I have never met a police officer who would consider going on patrol while unarmed, but I have met plenty who don’t think it is any big deal to walk around without a gun while they are off-duty. Most cops are off-duty about 128 hours a week, which is roughly triple the amount of time that they are on duty. Granted, when off duty, you are not going to calls for service, but chances are, you are going to public places where dirtbags may also be headed. Off-duty, you are just as likely to be targeted for crime as any other guy walking down the street. So, if violence is brought to you, how will you respond?
I think it is ironic that more states are allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons, while I have observed fewer cops carrying off duty. Citizens recognize they are responsible for their own safety. Why don’t all cops recognize that?
Now, I don’t think any police instructor will tell you that it is a good idea to try to enforce the laws while off duty. Certainly, I’m not suggesting this. In the vast majority of cases using your cell phone, and being a good witness is the best action.
However, when someone threatens your life, or the life of your family, how will you respond if you are unarmed?
For all of the former law enforcement officers – both those who retired and those who honorably served for 10 or more years – you can carry under something called the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). There are certain requirements associated with this law, so do not start toting a pistol without meeting them. However, once you meet those requirements, you will be 50-state legal to carry with some restrictions.