On July 22, 2004, Congress enacted the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA). The intent of LEOSA was to exempt qualified current and retired law enforcement officers from state laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons while traveling from state to state. LEOSA requires that the retired law enforcement officer have a photographic identification card which identifies them as a retired law enforcement officer. LEOSA also requires that the retired law enforcement officer maintain an annual qualification with their firearm.
In response to LEOSA, on December 13, 2005, the Governor signed into law, Act 79, the Retired Law Enforcement Identification Act (RLEIA). RLEIA tasked the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC) with establishing uniform identification and qualification cards for retired law enforcement officers and a method of conducting annual firearms qualifications for such individuals.
Under this law, MPOETC also had the duty to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of the Act. Essentially, this legislation provides a concealed carry permit for retired officers to travel throughout the country with a firearm. Therefore, the identification cards must be of a quality that would reasonably be accepted as authentic in other jurisdictions, and contain the very specific information required by the Act, including multiple signatures. The identification card must be able to be produced for all retired officers, including many from very small police departments, for a cost of less than $15.00 per card. Other regulations were necessary in order to provide for a database system to track the issuance of identification cards, qualification cards and qualified firearms instructors. Regulations have also been drafted to provide for the safe operation of the firearms qualification for participants who may have been retired for a significant period of time.
The final regulations for the Retired Law Enforcement Identification Act (Act 79 of 2005) were published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on September 12, 2009. The regulations governing the administration of the Act 79 program can be reviewed at www.pabulletin.com/secure/data/vol39/39-37/39-37.pdf . Based on these guidelines, staff is finalizing procedures that will implement what has been outlined through regulation. The MPOETC website will be updated to provide forms and other information related to implementation of Act 79 in the near future.
- In-State Retired Officer Responsibilities
- Out-of-State Retired Officers Residing in Pennsylvania
- Public Agency (Law Enforcement) Responsibilities
- Sheriff Responsibilities (If City of first class, the chief or head of Police Department)
- Firearms Instructors Responsibilities
- Forms – Forms needed
- Frequently Asked Questions – Frequently Asked Questions
- Identification Card Vendor List