Bacon proposes law enforcement have more leeway in carrying concealed weapons

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) on Feb. 13 proposed a bill that would allow qualified law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms in most public areas, including Gun Free School Zones.

“Unfortunately, our officers are facing greater and greater dangers and current restrictions hinder their ability to carry firearms in a capacity that is safest for them and the public,” Rep. Bacon said earlier this week. “It is the responsibility of Congress to provide greater public safety for law enforcement and our communities and this bill does just that.”

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) Reform Act, H.R. 1156, would amend United States Code to improve LEOSA’s provisions related to the carrying of concealed weapons by law enforcement officers, among other purposes, according to the congressional record.

“The core of the LEOSA Reform Act is about responsibility — a responsibility to provide greater public safety for law enforcement and our communities at home,” said Rep. Bacon during a Wednesday press conference held following introduction of H.R. 1156 where he was joined by the bill’s leading original cosponsors and members of several organizations that have voiced support for it.

If enacted, H.R. 1156 would permit all qualified active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed firearms on state, local and private property otherwise open to the public; on Gun Free School Zones; in federal security level I or II public access facilities; and in national parks, according to a summary of the bill provided by Rep. Bacon’s office.

Such weapons would have to be “of magazines not prohibited by federal law,” according to the summary.

“Many of us know an officer’s call to protect and serve extends far beyond the sworn duties of their official capacities,” said the congressman.

Some of the organizations that support the bill are the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Association of Police Organizations, the Fraternal Order of Police, the FBI Agents Association, the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs Association, and the ATF Association, among others.

H.R. 1156 has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.