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Old June 6, 2009, 04:05 PM   #101
gc70
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And it occurs to me that if we can get to the heart of why this legislation got passed, and can apply this same reasoning, we might find an in-road for ourselves.
The record of the debate in the House of Representatives before LEOSA's passage is in the June 23, 2004 issue of the Congressional Record between pages H4811 and H4818.

The best summary of reasons for LEOSA start on page H4816:

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The benefits of the legislation are twofold — officer safety and improved public safety. Many jurisdictions do not allow off-duty officers to carry concealed weapons. Due to the unique responsibilities and dangers that come with law enforcement, off-duty officers are at a greater risk than most Americans. It is not uncommon for off-duty officers to run into people they have arrested or helped to incarcerate. There have been documented instances where felons have sought retribution against officers who helped to put them in jail or prison. It is only right that the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday when they go to work be afforded the right to protect their families and themselves while they are off duty.

These concerns apply not only to off-duty officers, but to retired officers as well. A criminal who is seeking retribution does not care that the officer who put them away is retired. It is a disservice to those men and women who risked their lives to perform a public service to be deprived of the right to defend themselves and their families simply because they retired.

Legal issues are also posed when neighboring jurisdictions have different regulations for carrying concealed weapons. An off-duty officer is faced with a problem when he is traveling state to state or even city to city. In a circumstance where his/her home jurisdiction requires off-duty officers to carry, but he is traveling to a jurisdiction where the law prohibits carrying concealed weapons, the officer is forced to choose which law to break. Does he leave his gun at home and break the law in his home jurisdiction, or take it with him and break the law when he enters the next jurisdiction?

Aside from the issues of self-defense and jurisdictional conflicts, H.R. 218 provides additional officers to prevent crime, without the cost. There are countless stories of retired and off-duty officers who have prevented crime and protected everyday citizens because they were allowed to carry concealed weapons. In this time of heightened security, it seems only logical that additional means to prevent crime and even terrorism be implemented. Off-duty and retired law enforcement officers have the training to recognize suspicious activity and prevent crime. When qualified off-duty and retired police officers are allowed to carry, more law enforcement officers are put on the street at zero cost to taxpayers.
The best summary of reasons against LEOSA start on page H4815:

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In Federalist Paper number 45, James Madison, in explaining the division of power between the States and the Federal Government envisioned, stated, ‘‘The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.’’

This legislation takes away the ability of the 50 States to govern their internal order. Just look at the title of the bill: ‘‘To amend title 18, United States Code, to exempt qualified current and former law enforcement officers from State laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.’’ In exercising its authority to keep internal order, the State has traditionally controlled who, within its borders, may carry concealed weapons and when law enforcement officers may carry firearms.

This legislation undermines the power of the individual states and frustrates the principles of Federalism. As long as they do not infringe on the rights granted under the second amendment to the Constitution, laws regulating the carrying of concealed firearms should remain within the jurisdiction of the State government where they can be more effectively monitored and enforced.
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Old June 6, 2009, 04:51 PM   #102
Al Norris
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Originally Posted by gc70
The best summary of reasons against LEOSA start on page H4815:
And that is my objection to LEOSA and National Reciprocity via a federal law.

What some of you folks keep forgetting is that recognition of State issued DL's is that the States made compacts to observe them. The feds not only had no authority (they still don't), but were never involved with this.

Nor should the feds be involved in concealed carry. It is purely a State powers issue.

And yes, I know full well that an enacted law is valid until the Court says otherwise. That doesn't mean I'm wrong. Merely that no court has actually adjudicated the LEOSA as a constitutional issue.

Frankly, anyone who says LEOSA is good law, or that National reciprocity would be good, is merely agreeing to the feds to increased power.
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Old June 6, 2009, 06:07 PM   #103
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anyone who says LEOSA is good law, or that National reciprocity would be good, is merely agreeing to the feds to increased power.
I can agree with the constitutional objection, it would seem to fly in the face of State powers. But, much like the proverbial knocked-up girlfriend, we cannot "unscrew" this situation. So, do we attack the nationwide reciprocity (for citizens) issue from a State level only ? Or use this abuse of Fed power to our benefit ? Seems we could use the same arguments as outlined above should apply to everyone, LE or not, for most of the same reasons.

An interesting conundrum.
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Old June 6, 2009, 06:25 PM   #104
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You can think that the ticket you get or the arrest made is null and void, but that does not make it so. Once he or she identifies themselves as a law enforcement officer, that's it. You can resist or flee if you want to, and you might get found not guilty of that particular charge if he was wearing daisy dukes and clown make-up. The original charge will stand though.

I never thought anything to the contrary, perhaps you have confused statements made by others ?

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You and I agree though, this is a right that all law-abiding citizens should have.
We do, indeed.

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Instead of working to take it away from one subgroup, private citizens should work to get it themselves.
I agree, and I think that we might possibly be able to use the fact that LE has it to help strengthen our own cause.

I am however, a bit dubious of doing so on a Federal level for the reasons Al pointed out.

BTW gc70, thanks for the links, good reading material.
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Old June 6, 2009, 10:29 PM   #105
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So, do we attack the nationwide reciprocity (for citizens) issue from a State level only? Or use this abuse of Fed power to our benefit?
The LEOSA approach is not viable for citizens. LEOSA takes individuals having other current/prior authority to carry weapons and expands that authority while providing an exemption from state CCW laws. The set of circumstances necessary for the LEOSA approach simply can't be duplicated for citizens (e.g. can't exempt them from CCW laws when their authority to carry is derived from CCW laws).

The other approach for citizens - national reciprocity - would be based on a probably unconstitutional federal licensing scheme that would open a nearly unimaginable array of legal issues involving state licensing powers.

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Seems we could use the same arguments as outlined above should apply to everyone, LE or not, for most of the same reasons.
At first blush, improving officer and community protection seem like concepts that could be applied to civilians. However, the naysayers would undoubtedly say that citizens are not nearly as needful of increased personal protection, nor as capable of contributing to community protection, as LEOs. Even the arguments for LEOs are pretty thin if closely examined.

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Old June 7, 2009, 12:12 AM   #106
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I never thought anything to the contrary, perhaps you have confused statements made by others ?
That was a response to the article you quoted.

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I am however, a bit dubious of doing so on a Federal level for the reasons Al pointed out.
Some might say to accept the federal government stomping all over state laws to "grant" us a right we want so badly would be hypocritical. It would be so tempting though... I think everyone would be drinking that kool-aid.
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Old June 7, 2009, 11:26 AM   #107
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It would be so tempting though... I think everyone would be drinking that kool-aid.
A few days ago, I likely would have jumped in line like everyone else, but I am not so sure now.

The reason for my reluctance ? ;

Quote:
And yes, I know full well that an enacted law is valid until the Court says otherwise. That doesn't mean I'm wrong. Merely that no court has actually adjudicated the LEOSA as a constitutional issue.

This is an excellent point, and, while I would not advocate this If the LEOSA were ever challenged on constitutional grounds, with the flimsy foundation it is on, it could likely be rescinded by the courts. If nationwide reciprocity were instituted on a State level, and then a compact agreed upon at State levels, the FedGov, and courts could not easily touch it. Besides, kool-aid makes my scotch taste funny.
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Old June 7, 2009, 08:07 PM   #108
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If the LEOSA were ever challenged on constitutional grounds, with the flimsy foundation it is on, it could likely be rescinded by the courts.
One would think so, just on its face, but courts have bent over back wards for 200 years, and especially the last 50 years to accommodate police.
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Old June 7, 2009, 08:15 PM   #109
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Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
I can agree with the constitutional objection, it would seem to fly in the face of State powers. But, much like the proverbial knocked-up girlfriend, we cannot "unscrew" this situation.
There's always a "but," isn't there?

See Brown v. Board of Education, for one example of that "unscrew." There are others.
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Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
This is an excellent point, and, while I would not advocate this If the LEOSA were ever challenged on constitutional grounds, with the flimsy foundation it is on, it could likely be rescinded by the courts.
No politician is really going to press this point.

If it ever is put under a judicial microscope, it will come from a police chief or sheriff who is already in a jurisdiction that has no concealed permits and simply wants to take back control of his own officers.

You will note that there was no congressional finding that subverting State and Local laws, was linked to any congressional authority. It merely added to section 921 of Title 18 USC.
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Old June 7, 2009, 09:04 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Antipitas
Frankly, anyone who says LEOSA is good law, or that National reciprocity would be good, is merely agreeing to the feds to increased power.
Agree, and further that whatever the Fed bringeth they can taketh away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
So, do we attack the nationwide reciprocity (for citizens) issue from a State level only ?
Yes! I think that is the way to go and then it will be nigh impossible politically for the Feds to take it away.

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Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
Or use this abuse of Fed power to our benefit ?
And what would keep that same abuse from taking it away on a whim?

Keep it by state, keep it safer. Takes longer but works better IMO.
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Old June 8, 2009, 11:49 AM   #111
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Keep it by state, keep it safer. Takes longer but works better IMO.
Perfect federalism arguement. I salute you
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