Dear COBA Members,
I am happy to report that in the NYS State Budget, which was passed in Albany last night, a major issue affecting "Retired/Retiring" Peace Officers in NYS has been corrected.
Last year, NYS passed sweeping new gun laws that severely restricted the rights of law abiding gun owners and particularly retired/retiring Peace Officers. In those laws, legal gun owners were prevented from carrying legally licensed concealed weapons in numerous "no go zones" like public transportation, Times Square in NYC etc.
These restrictions as written exempted Active Police Officers, Retired Police Officers, Active Peace Officers and several other Active groups.
Those same laws, did not exempt "Retired Peace Officers", which included us in Corrections, Fire Marshalls, Probation etc.
The NY Downstate Correction Coalition, led by Nassau COBA, Suffolk and Westchester Corrections banded together with the Nassau County Fire Marshalls and heavily lobbied the Governor and State Legislature to correct this inequity. NYC Corrections also worked on this issue by distributing an online petition in opposition to this issue.
We were all in Albany recently and heavily lobbied Gov. Hochul to have specific language changed in the Budget to correct this issue and with the passage of the Budget last night, Retired Peace Officers now enjoy the same exempted protective language that Active Police/Peace Officers and Retired Police Officers do.
Specifically, last years gun law stated the following:
A person is guilty of Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Rifle or Shotgun when they knowingly possess such weapon in a "Sensitive Location".
The law identified dozens of locations where licensed law abiding citizens would be charged with a crime for possessing such weapons, including Public Transportation, bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and public areas such as Times Square in NYC.
The corrected language in the Budget now states that this section SHALL NOT apply to: ("Consistent with federal law),
a.) Law Enforcement Officers who qualify to carry under the Federal Law
Enforcement Officers Safety Act, (LEOSA), qualified law enforcement
officers who are authorized to carry concealed firearms pursuant to 18
U.S.C 926B, or qualified retired law enforcement officers who are
authorized to carry concealed firearms pursuant to 18 U.S.C.926C;
b.) Persons who are police officers as defined in subdivision thirty-four of
section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law;
c.) Persons who are designated Peace Officers by section 2.10 of the criminal
d.) Persons who were employed as police officers as defined in subdivision
thirty-four of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law but are retired;
And Again in pertinent part:
e.) qualified law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry
concealed firearms pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 926B, or qualified retired
Law Enforcement Officers who are authorized to carry concealed
firearms pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 926C;
I am very proud of the job that was done, and led by Nassau COBA and our partners in the Downstate Correction Coalition in correcting this glaring inequity that now protects Retired Peace Officers (under the heading of Retired Law Enforcement Officers) to once again carry their concealed weapons in those so-called "sensitive locations", as protected under LEOSA and HR 218.
Brian Sullivan, COBA President