Since 2004 when the Law Enforcement Officer’s Safety Act was initiated, it was made possible for law enforcement to carry weapons when off-duty in any state. This Act operates under the premise that even when law enforcement are not technically on the clock, that wherever they are in the country, they are in a better position to protect public safety and respond to situations if they are armed.
Of course, there are still some guidelines that dictate when this act applies:
- The Act applies to both on-duty and retired law enforcement officers
- Officers that are retired can only carry under the act if they were employed for 15+ years (aggregate).
- Officers that have retired for mental instability cannot carry a weapon under the Act.
- Retired officers need to continue to complete firearms testing and hold all the same qualifications as on-duty officers. These qualifications must be maintained at their own cost.
- Officers that are not allowed to carry a weapon when on duty (whether it is due to a probationary period, or another factor) cannot carry a concealed one off duty under the act.
- Law enforcement officers cannot carry a weapon off-duty when drinking (or abusing other substances).