Expanding the Meaning of “Common Sense” Gun Legislation
Image Source: Crime Prevention Research Center
Jack Wagstaff, Social Policy Contributor
Gun control is arguably the most divisive topic in domestic public policy. Rather than continue the trend of it becoming a conundrum of partisan politics, what if both sides were to consider “common sense” changes on both ends of the spectrum. An increasing number of states are expanding the liberties of gun ownership and carry by the general public. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is applying more and more pressure on politicians to enact more liberal restrictions on the federal level.
The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) of 2004 permits a “qualified law enforcement officer” or a “qualified retired law enforcement officer” to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States with only a few exceptions. LEOSA does not exempt law enforcement from:
- restrictions imposed by an owner on their private property
- restrictions imposed by a state or local government on properties they own or otherwise occupy.
- restrictions prohibiting carrying a firearm in federal facilities
- restrictions prohibiting carrying a firearm in federal Gun Free School Zones or national parks unless the person is compliance with state law governing the carrying of a firearm
Eight states have already passed legislation to allow concealed carry on college campuses. Now, pro-gun advocates are pushing for federal legislation to allow for widespread concealed carry on the campuses of all public institutions. Yet, it remains that sworn law enforcement - those most trained in the use of firearms and the laws governing their use - cannot even carry their firearm concealed to a lecture held on a college campus in their neighboring jurisdiction. This seems to be a common sense amendment to LEOSA before federal lawmakers pass legislation to allow widespread concealed carry on all public campuses. Can we all not agree that even a single campus shooting where an off-duty law enforcement officer who would have otherwise been armed but was unequipped to apply his or her training is one too many?
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