There have been a lot of questions generated in the LEO Community regarding HR 218. I hope this post helps to clear up any misconceptions about this national law.
HR 218 Explained
Where can a police officer carry a gun while traveling?
Before you do any traveling, here are some tips about your right to carry a firearm to another state based on HR 218, the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act. Pass this article on to anyone in your department that might need it.
This issue has come up recently because four off duty officers were just granted a motion to dismiss after being arrested in Sturgis last year. They were arrested for carrying concealed firearms after a fight with some Hell’s Angels. During the fight an officer shot one of the Hell’s Angels.
What the Law Enforcement Safety Act (HR 218) Allows:
A qualified active or retired law enforcement officer who has photographic identification issued by their employing agency may carry a concealed firearm transported across state lines.
Now For The Fine Print.
Additional Requirement for Retired Officers
Retired officers must also bring state issued documentation that they qualified with the weapon they are carrying within the last 12 months.
Federal Land and Buildings
This law exempts officers from state and local laws concerning concealed carry but not Federal laws. HR 218 does not exempt you on:
- Federal buildings
- Federal property
- National Parks
- Private Property, State and Local Government Land and Buildings
The law also grants states the authority to:
Permit private property owners to restrict concealed firearms on their property
Permit state and local governments to restrict concealed firearms on state or local government property.
Check with the state to see if their laws restrict carrying concealed firearms at these locations.
This Law is an Affirmative Defense; Officers can still be Arrested
The ATF sent a letter to the Fraternal Order of Police clarifying that officers can still be arrested for carrying concealed handguns.
HR 218 is only an affirmative defense that can be brought up before the judge.
Hmmm, here It is easier for me to tell you the term " Firearms" does not include:
- Machine guns
- Explosive or destructive devices
Qualified Law Enforcement Officer Defined:
A qualified, active law enforcement officer is an employee of a government agency who:
- is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or the incarceration of any person for any violation of law;
- has statutory powers of arrest;
- is authorized by the agency to carry a firearm;
- is not the subject of any disciplinary action by the agency;
- meets the standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;
- is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm.
Qualified Retired Law Enforcement Officer Defined:
A qualified retired law enforcement officer is defined as an individual who:
- has retired in good standing from service with a government agency as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of fifteen (15) years or more for reasons other than mental instability, or retired from such an agency due to a service-connected disability after completing any applicable probationary period of such service;
- was authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, prosecution or the incarceration of any person for any violation of law;
- had statutory powers of arrest;
- has a nonprofitable right to benefits under the retirement plan of the agency for which he was employed;
- meets, at his own expense, the same standards for qualification with a firearm as an active officer within the State in which he resides;
- is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance; and
- is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm.
- A personal note:
When I first became aware of this HR 218 I thought it was the cat's ass but what I now believe is that it is not much better, if even as good, as many state issued ccw permits.
One obvious comparsion point is; Having to renew your HR- 218 Permit every year as compared to, say Florida's Resident CCW 7 year permit is a glaring pain in the butt.
Last edited by csdalton; 04-14-2010 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Additions
If you moved to another state after retiring can you qualify in your new home town?
I have been certifying retired and active LEO's since 2004. If you are traveling to Ohio be sure to have your agency photo ID Card and your proof of firearms qualification within the last 365 days.
I hold requal classes 4 times per year in SW Ohio. Email me or call me if you have any questions or need advice. If you belong to the FOP be sure to get your HR218 Insurance, don't leave home without it.
Pat Olvey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-478-8887
Is there a maximum age disqualification? I've looked around and cannot find anything, However, I've heard that upon reaching age 70 and now I hear it's 75 that you're no longer eligible for the permit.
In my humble opinion as a law enforcement officer and state certified firearms instructor
Yes anyone can be arrested, the answer is don't break any laws,
active duty officers can also be arrested for firearms violations, an example armed and under the influence of alcohol,
if a retired HR218 holder is arrested without cause the necessary remedy is to sue the arresting agency,
refer to the decision posted at Sheepdog Academy News
If you carry all of the items you are supposed to, photo if, proof of current firearms competency you should have no problem.
There is no age limit in HR218.
Last edited by ohio pat; 06-14-2011 at 10:02 AM. Reason: typo
My question is, I am a retired Military Police with 22 years service. Now the DOD only issued me a retired ID card, now I assuming that in my case I would have to carry a copy of my 20-year letter showing my career field, plus current certification. Reason I am saying all of the above, is because there is nothing on my ID card that states that I am retired law enforcement. I still plan on taking the CCW course here in Minnesota where I live just as a additional resource, but when I go to another state (e.g. Iowa, Missouri, or Wisconsin), that is where I would be using the HR 218 status. So if you could let me know if my thinking is correct.
I carry under the 2nd amendment.
The federal law clearly states that under HR218 the retired officer must carry proof of current qualification (within the last 365 days) conducted by an state authorized law enforcement instructor, using the state law enforcement course of fire, and carry a photo identification card indicating that the officer is a retired law enforcement officer. Both cards must be in the possession of the officer at the time he/she is carrying the concealed pistol.
Sorry but this is the law.
Hope this helps