New Jersey Slowly Disarming Its Cops in Fight Against LEOSA
New Jersey legislators continue to fight against police and LEOSA (the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act) as crime rises well above the national average.
Historically, New Jersey is one of the only states that frequently tries to neuter federal law geared toward law enforcement; perhaps no instance more evident than the ongoing battle over LEOSA (the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act).
In New Jersey, the 2016 violent crime rate in Newark was 135.96 percent higher than the national violent crime rate average. In Camden, the 2012 statistics (the most current) saw a violent crime rate 563.3 percent higher than the national average. And in Trenton, the state capital, the 2016 violent crime rate was 239.33 precent higher than the national violent crime rate. Clearly the members of the New Jersey Legislature are missing all of that during their commute to their Trenton offices.
By comparison, New York City’s 2016 violent crime rate was only 44 percent higher than the national average. Which leads to the question: What is the New Jersey Legislature doing about violent crime in these major urban hubs?
The answer, reinforcing the taking away the guns of law enforcement.
How LEOSA Works
In an Oct. 12, 2018 directive, the New Jersey Attorney General once again reinforced New Jersey’s thwarting of LEOSA.
LEOSA is a federal law, enacted in 2004, which allows two classes of people — the “qualified Law Enforcement officer” and the “qualified retired or separated Law Enforcement officer” — to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States or United States Territories, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions. The exceptions are that a state can restrict carry authority on private property (bars, amusements parks, etc.); a state can restrict carry on state property (courts, state office buildings, etc); and on school grounds.
Officials amended the law in 2010 and 2013; in both cases LEOSA authority was actually expanding and enhanced.
LEOSA was enacted to ensure active and retired officers were protected from a patchwork of state concealed carry laws. It was also enacted to ensure that law enforcement officers — on or off duty — could be a force multiplier in the event something happens and an off duty or retired law enforcement officer is nearby to help. The recent mass shootings in California and Pittsburgh reinforce the need for law enforcement officers, of all generations, around the nation to be capable of being ready.
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