How does HR 218 actually work?

Where can I get a clear, concise explanation of HR 218? How does it work/not work in anti 2A states & cities? I’ve searched and find many opinions, but can not locate an objective evaluation.

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@Don9 that is a great question but is difficult to answer because laws vary so greatly. Ideally, as an active or qualified retired LEO, with the required credentials, you can carry concealed in every state in the union. But, you still need to be aware of magazine capacity limitations, ammunition restrictions stated by state and, in some cases, by city and county.
For instance, in Kentucky, an active LEO from any state and retired Leo’s who meet the Kentucky qualifications can carry anywhere in the state except correctional facilities and locations prohibited by federal law, ie, federal property and secure areas of airports.

The big question that the courts have not answered is does LEOSA provide a defense or is it a prohibition against prosecution? As a defense, you still end up getting arrested which is not ideal.


You need to make sure you follow the applicable statutes 18 USC 926B for active law enforcement and 18 USC 926C and have the appropriate identification. The gist of the same for active and retired LEOS which I’ll refer to below as QLEOs

(a) Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof, an individual who is a qualified [active or] retired law enforcement officer and who is carrying the identification required by subsection (d) may carry a concealed firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, subject to subsection (b).
(b) This section shall not be construed to supersede or limit the laws of any State that-
(1) permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property; or
(2) prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.

Under the law, states cannot prohibit QLEOs from carrying on private property but they can allow the property owners to do so. It is not clear whether the state can penalize a QLEO for carrying on private property if posted. KY can arrest for criminal trespass if asked to leave but state law specifically creates an exception for off-duty and retired QLEOs.

The state can prohibit carrying on any state property or facility.

The law says any federally legal ammo can be carried but no one wants to test that in NJ where there is ban on carrying hollow point by anyone other than police.

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While we may face prosecution, because the Constitution is being forgotten or intentionally ignored.

A law repugnant to the Constitution is void.

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I agree - and - you can still end up arrested, in jail, and bankrupt trying to get yourself out. :angry:

This is an argument my hubby and I have all the time:
Him: They can’t do that.
Me: They do it every day.
Him: It’s not constitutional.
Me: Whether it’s constitutional or not - they’re still doing it.
Him: But they can’t.
Me: Tell that to the people who are in jail.

We have two tasks:

  1. To push back the unconstitutional laws by use of the system where laws get changed.
  2. To guard ourselves against the unconstitutional laws in the mean time so we can stay in that fight.

It chafes a LOT to have to toe the line on unconstitutional laws. But until that wrong can be righted, where’s your best leverage? Compliance sucks, but civil disobedience and refusal to comply has big real-life consequences. I can choose the ground I fight from… better leverage if I’m free than in jail.

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Thanks Mike. I understand the basics and have heard about the horrors of even passing through NJ. and the way they treat their own Officer when not on duty. I’ve also heard stories of NYC not honoring federal law. I think what I’m looking for is an accounting of what state laws (and maybe city ordinances) are currently. Is there such an instrument that is current and detailed?

Kevin & Zoe - Thant argument is as complicated as. The English language.

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@Don9 I think the USCCA state laws and reciprocity map is pretty good and very current, however I"m not sure it covers the LEO situation - mostly it’s addressing the civilian situation.
@Dawn does USCCA have a reference for LEOs that would include HR218?

Dang! I must not have posted my response to this. I had it all written up too. :frowning:
We do have a reference for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act here:

Let me know if you have any other questions!

(Thanks for the tag, @Zee!)

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Thanks, Dawn. This appears to be the most comprehensive info that I’ve seen to date. I will spend time with it. I’m a retired LEO from (and unfortunately still living in) California. I drove to Virginia last summer and to Michigan twice this summer. I have used some gun law apps I found but was not satisfied with them. I also know that a legislator from Nebraska has sponsored legislation to clean up some of the issues such as New Jersey’s disregard for Federal Law and the Second Amendment.

Thanks again.


I’m retired LEO from Louisville KY. Now I am an attorney and stay familiar with LEOSA and state laws for states I visit and pass through. It can be tough, especially states like CA, IL, NJ, NY, MD.
I do have a telltale sign for LEOs if they look at my tags. And no one except LEOs have any idea what it means.


I wouldn’t go that far :wink: A lot of us here know what that means. :smiley:


Very true! Still a small minority. I have had some younger officers ask me what it means.

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