The following information is provided to assist WASPC members understand the current state and federal law regarding the rights of retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons. This should not be considered legal advice. Please contact your legal advisor regarding any legal interpretations you may need.
There are three basic provisions of Washington State law and Federal law that govern the carrying of concealed weapons by retired officers. There is a provision of RCW that allows retired officers from Washington to carry concealed weapons in Washington. There is a provision of Federal law that allows retired officers from anywhere in the country to carry concealed weapons anywhere in the country under certain circumstances. Finally, there is a provision of RCW that allows Washington State law enforcement agencies to issue firearms certificates to document the officer's eligibility under Federal law.
The least complicated provision is RCW 9.41.060. This is a fairly long standing provision that grants retired officers from Washington the same privileges as if they held a Concealed Pistol License. This does not require any background check on the part of the law enforcement agency and is valid so long as the retired officer meets the restrictions placed upon the privilege. Those restrictions are that the retired officer has not been convicted or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a crime making him or her ineligible for a concealed pistol license; and b) the retired officer has obtained documentation from a law enforcement agency within Washington state from which he or she retired that is signed by the agency's chief law enforcement officer and that states the retired officer was retired in good standing for service or physical disability.
The Federal Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA - 18USC926C) authorizes retired and separated law enforcement officers nationwide to carry concealed weapons throughout the country. To qualify, retired officers must (1) be retired or separated in good standing as a law enforcement officer for reasons other than mental instability; (2) prior to retirement have been authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation or prosecution of, or the incarceration of any person for any violation of law; (3) prior to retirement have had the statutory powers of arrest; (4) have served at least 10 years; (5) not be prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm; and (6) qualify, annually, with the type of firearm to be carried. Although Washington does not have a single qualification standard, WASPC recommends that officers use the qualification course currently specified by the WA State Criminal Justice Training Commission. Click here for the qualification standard. There is no permit, per se, that is issued to officers. Retired officers should carry their retired officer credentials and proof of firearms proficiency.
The Washington State Legislature in an attempt to make it easier for retired officers to document their privilege under LEOSA, passed legislation later codified as RCW 36.28A.090 (HB 2226). WASPC as required by this statute developed a firearms qualification. It is important to note that no background check is required for officers to exercise their privilege under LEOSA.
Click here for a copy of the qualification form. Click here to visit the CJTC's "Firearms LEOSA Concealed Carry Qualification" information.
Retired officers from Washington have a clear privilege to carry concealed weapons in Washington under certain restrictions. They are required to meet the restrictions and there is no responsibility placed on law enforcement agencies. There is no permit required. Retired officers from across the country can carry concealed weapons anywhere in the United States under certain circumstances. There is no requirement for law enforcement agencies to issue any permit or certificate. Law enforcement agencies must determine for themselves whether or not they wish to become involved in that process for retired officers.