DescriptionIf a person is recognized as a serving or retired law enforcement officer by the Act, then “notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof”, he or she may carry a concealed firearm in any state or political subdivision thereof. Thus, the LEOSA-qualified person does not generally require a state-issued permit/license for concealed firearms.
However, there are two types of state laws that are not overridden by the federal law, these being “the laws of any State that permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.”This does not mean that LEOSA-qualified persons are prohibited from carrying concealed firearms in such areas, but only that they must obey whatever state laws apply on those two points. They are free to disregard all other state and local laws that govern the carrying of concealed firearms. The LEOSA overrides state and local laws, but not other federal laws, e.g., the federal Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 which prohibits carrying a firearm within 1000 feet of any elementary or secondary school.
LEOSA-qualified individuals must continue to obey federal laws and agency policies that restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in certain federal buildings and lands. Whether or not a person is covered by the LEOSA depends entirely on whether or not he or she meets the definitions in the federal law for either “qualified law enforcement officer” or “qualified retired law enforcement officer.” It does not matter whether or not a given individual is defined as a “law enforcement officer” under the law of his state; only the definition in the federal law applies.