Improvements to the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 delineated the national off-duty concealed firearms carry rights and requirements for active sworn, and retired, law enforcement officers.  Senate S.1132 and House H.R. 3752 were bills introduced in 2009 to amend the original LEOSA and make needed improvements.

Becoming Public Law No. 111-272 on 10/12/2010, the following changes to LEOSA went into effect:

  • More clearly defines disciplinary action in LEOSA’s language to be discipline “which could result in the loss of police powers.”
  • Retired officers are now referred to as “separated from service in good standing.” It lowers their required years of service to 10 years, eliminates the “nonforfeitable” pension or benefit requirement, and eases firearms qualifications to those standard by agency, state, or state certified instructor of LEO’s.


  • Includes the carry of ammunition “not expressly prohibited by Federal law or subject to the provisions of the National Firearms Act.”  Federally legal ammunition, such as hollow-point bullets, can be carried where state law would normally prohibit it (i.e. New Jersey).
  • Amtrak, Federal Reserve, and Federal executive branch law enforcement officers are now included in the “qualified” LEO definition.

Here at, we vehemently advocate LEO’s availing themselves of their responsibility to carry firearms, and the necessary gear, to respond to life-threatening encounters each and every day.

The federal government believes that trained law enforcement officers enhance the safety of all citizens.  LEOSA recognizes that police officers do not go off duty at the end of a watch.

Following state and federal laws, and my agency’s SOP, I have carried a concealed firearm in travels from New York to California.  In a future article, I will discuss airline travel with a firearm in checked luggage.  Also, make sure you understand that LEOSA does not exempt officers from the Federal Gun Free School Zones Act.

Please stay vigilant and prepared.

Randy is a twenty-three year veteran officer of a mid-size Florida police department.  He served as a SWAT team officer for 21 years, to include 12 years as a team leader.  His other duties included police K9 handler, FTO, and detective.  Currently serving as a midnight shift sergeant, he is also his department’s SWAT Coordinator.

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Richard Johnson is a gun writer, police trainer and really bad joke teller. Check out his other writing on sites like Human Events, The Firearm Blog and Police & Security News.

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  • Natheniale Bilaal

    Thank U for the updates on LEOSA. I am retired from a NJ dept. NJ is STILL telling retired officers that they HAVE TO HAVE a NJ issued CARRY PERMIT @ $50.00 a yr.,qualify TWICE a yr and CANNOT carry hollow point rounds. To my understanding STATES only have the legal right to regulate the magazine capacity. everything else is under federal authorization. Please clear this up, because a lot of retirees I know are being ripping off @ $50. a head and are telling me I don’t know what I’m talking about

  • Matt

    I have read differing articles as to weather or not LEOSA allows an off duty officer to carry standard capacity magazines in states that restrict magazine capacity to 10 or 7 (New York) rounds of ammunition. In reading the text of LEOSA I see an exemption for hollow point ammunition but not magazines. I do not see an exemption in the text of New York state law. Is there a reliable legal opinion that you know of?

    • Richard

      Hi Matt,

      I spoke with an NRA attorney in April. It was his opinion that there are no exemptions under LEOSA regarding magazine capacity limits/bans. He was also unaware of any test cases on this point.


      • Matt

        Thanks Richard. I read an article by Massad Ayoob a while ago that indicated that there was no exemption in LEOSA so I inquired with the legal advisor with my agency and she thought there was. I would hate for an officer to be involved in a shooting out of state and find out the hard way. I travel to New York to visit family and since I read the article I picked up a couple XDS’s with 7 round mags so I am sure I am in compliance. By the way, Mas recomended your site to me to inquire and I will pass the sight on to my guys.

        • Richard

          The XDS is a good pistol. I had a chance to review one last year, and I really like it a lot.

          Mas is a good man. I’ve had the chance to meet him on a few occasions and he has always been kind and generous with his time.

          If you ever get a chance to take on of his classes, jump on it. I don’t know what area of the world you are in, but a good friend of mine, Paul Carlson, is hosting Mas for a 40 hour course in Ohio. Paul is a great host and the range they will be shooting on is absolutely wonderful.

          Stay safe!