President Donald Trump issued one of his final Executive Orders Monday, which expands nationwide gun carry access for law enforcement officers, judges and prosecutors.
Trump’s order allows the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) to include federal judges and prosecutors, in addition to making it simpler for retired officers to get LEOSA credentials. Passed in 2004, LEOSA gives the majority of retired law enforcement officers the right to carry a concealed weapon nationwide and in U.S. territories. Local gun laws have no impact on this right.
“Because of the importance of their work, these public servants face unique risks to their safety and the safety of their families,” the Executive Order stated. “Some who face or have received an adverse judicial decision have sought to intimidate or punish judges and prosecutors with threats of harm. Moreover, judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers are symbols within our communities of law and order and may be targeted for that reason alone.”
Under the act, retired officers at any level are allowed to take a yearly test and receive a photo ID card, exempting them from local laws.
“At times, family members of public servants have become victims. Last year, a former litigant before a Federal judge in New Jersey tragically murdered the judge’s 20-year-old son and critically wounded her husband,” Trump stated in the order. “Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers’ resiliency in the face of the danger they regularly face is an inspiration for all of us in public service.”
Trump continued, “Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers should not have to choose between public service and subjecting themselves and their families to danger. My Administration has no higher priorities than preserving the rule of law in our country and protecting the men and women who serve under its flag. Accordingly, I am ordering enhanced protections for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers.”
According to Trump’s order, more could be done to remove obstacles standing in the way of law enforcement protecting themselves and others.
“Federal law already allows Federal and State law enforcement officers to protect themselves by carrying a concealed firearm, but the Federal Government can do more to cut the red tape that Federal law enforcement officers must navigate to exercise their right,” Trump stated.
The order will remove “any undue obstacle preventing current or retired Federal law enforcement officers from carrying a concealed firearm,” with the primary goal to “prevent State and local governments from obstructing the ability of qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers, as those terms are defined by the LEOSA, from carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to the LEOSA, including by refusing to issue identification documents.”