Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Allows Military Police to Concealed Carry in 50 S

By Major Van Harl USAF Ret

Military Police
Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act H.R. 218 And Military Police
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Wisconsin –-(  In 2004 then President George W. Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA).

The act was introduced to Congress as H.R. 218 and if a policeman knows about this act he/she most likely will refer to it as H.R.218.

What H.R. 218 did was give police including military police officers the ability to carry a concealed firearm in any State or US possession, such as Puerto Rico.

This type of law enforcement concealed carry permit has nothing to do with the civilian concealed carry permits that States can issue to their residents.

The most important difference about an H.R. 218 concealed carry permit is–all 50 States have to honor the permit.

As of July 2013 all 50 States have some form of civilian concealed carry permit. However, unlike a drivers license issued in one State and honored in all of the other 49 States there is no one State that will honor all 49 other concealed carry permits or have their permit honored by all of the other 49 States.

The H.R. 218 is a special concealed carry permit for actively working cops and retired cops. There is a process to apply depending on each State’s protocol. You have to qualify each year on the handgun you plan to carry and when you have your H.R. 218 permit you can travel the 50 States and all US Territories with your legal handgun.

This includes: Washington D.C., New York City and the dreaded anti-gun city of Chicago.

The problem was when H.R. 218 first went into effect it failed to include Federal retired law enforcement such as FBI or ATF agents. So the bill was amended and they included military police both active duty and retired, but the wording was allegedly confusing to civilian law enforcement, so retired military police of any and all branches of the DoD and Coast Guard were denied the ability to have the H.R. 218 permit.

H.R.218 has been amended again this year and now there is specific wording that addresses military police both active duty and retired.

If you are retired military police, security forces, or master-at-arms you can qualify and carry a concealed handgun. Each State has (I believe-don’t quote me, (New Jersey may not)) set up an application procedure for former Federal law enforcement (this includes old military cops) members to acquire an H.R. 218 based concealed carry permit that has to be honored in every state.

I am a retired Air Force Security Forces policeman and I live in Wisconsin. As soon as the new amendment to H.R. 218 went into effect in 2013 the Wisconsin Department of Justice (Do J) modified their application process to include retired military cops under the former Federal law enforcement application process.

Last week after fulfilling a lengthy application process to include qualifying on the handgun I will be carrying, the Wisconsin DoJ issued me what I believe to be the first, former Federal law enforcement concealed carry permit assigned to an old Air Force retired cop.

If you are a retired military policeman from any branch of the DoD, you need a total of ten years service as a military cop. So even if you changed career fields and were not a cop your entire Air Force career that is OK, as long as you have at least the minimum ten years of military police time.

You have to be able to prove it on your DD 214. In actuality you do not have to be retired from military law enforcement. You have to only have ten years as a military cop. So if you have a DD 214 that can document you were a military policeman for ten years,(even if you separated before a twenty year retirement) that will work. If you are interested in having an H.R. 218 based law enforcement concealed carry permit, the first thing you need to do is contact the Department of Justice (or equivalent of) in your State of residence. Each State must have a process for former police officers to acquire a concealed carry permit.

There is precedence at least in the State of Wisconsin for an old Air Force policeman to have qualified and received an H.R. 218 permit, I am that precedence. One issue of the newly amended H.R. 218 is any active duty military policeman can with proof of current handgun qualification carry a concealed handgun out in the civilian world of all 50 States.

According to H.R. 218 any military cop from any branch of service (to include a reserve or Guard cop) can acquire their own privately owned handgun and carry it concealed off base. That will be a new experience for military commanders to deal with.

Even after you have your H.R. 218 permit tread lightly, there are a lot of people in power, especially on the east coast and in Chicago who might not completely understand that Federal law trumps anti-gun State statutes.

I contacted the Secretary of the Air Force’s office and was advised that the DoD is working the issue with intent to come up with DoD directed certification credentials for current and qualified former military cops to carry concealed under H.R. 218.

Times they are a changing in the world of military cops, old and new.

Major Van Harl UASF Ret / [email protected]

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

Update: 2/3/2017

Qualified individuals can now apply for LEOSA online at

  • 172 thoughts on “Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act Allows Military Police to Concealed Carry in 50 S

    1. Hello! Do you think my circumstances would allow me to qualify for a carry permit under the LEOSA Act? I am just short of six years ANG and Active duty Army because of service-connected illness incurred during my last deployment. The circumstances are as follows:

      I joined and remained in the Army National Guard and attended Military Police/OSUT training in 1998.

      In 2003, during a Federal mobilization and deployment stateside, I developed illness and was constantly in and out of medical appointments at the base hospital for the next five months.

      My orders were for a one-year deployment, however, I was discharged early under AR 635-200, Chapter 4, Separation code “MBK”, Reenlistment Code “N/A”, in just less than six months due to my illness. I choose this early discharge and release from active duty over the MRB because my commander, who was cruel and punitive because of my illness, was telling me a MRB would last over a 1.5 years and I only had six months remaining on these deployment orders.

      I filed an article 138 (request for redress) against this commander for his punitive behavior toward me and he was shortly relieved of his command and I was discharged before my orders were up. I have tons of medical documentation from this deployment and almost immediately obtained a Veterans Administration Service-Connected disability rating of 70% for those issues.

      Thank you in advance!

    2. Here is an idea. Have DCS co firm our eligibility then send our packet over to CID and ha e then print out Federal type credentials like MPI. Maybe down the road tnt would be a reality.
      Just my 1 cent

    3. I was Air Force law enforcement injured 3 times in line of duty. i had 6 years in and would have stayed longer but for the injureries.Do i count, after sacfricing everything.

    4. I was injured in the line of duty 3x. i had 6 surgeries to fix me. i had 6 years in. i wouldve stayed longer but they wouldnt let me. DO I QUALIFY?

        1. Yes after all those surgery I was finally given 80%. Even though the math added up to 120%. As per usual the Va used a slide rule to reduce it to 80%, not right at all. They still want to operate on my spine in neck as I’m losing feeling in arm and hand progressively. Doctors want to operate on my spine in the lower back too. After all I’ve done I still don’t qualify for the safety act? I’ve been threatened numerous times cause I was a Military Law enforcement officer, the threats were brutal and I would have died. 6years or 10 there’s no difference except in governments closed eyes. Will you be happy when I’m dead. Tell my family your excuses.

          1. Anthony, they don’t erase your responses, they approve them first. I sometimes wait a day before seeing my responses. It’s my opinion (for whatever it’s worth) that anyone with a service connected disability meets the letter of the law regardless of the percentage. The law states specifically “service connected disability” and says nothing about percentage. It does say that the reason for leaving has to be as a result of your disability.(to qualify under the lack of having 10 years) However, the military or the VA never clarifies that one way or the other. So I’d imagine it doesn’t get questioned. It’s also my opinion that DCS looks to qualify people versus disqualifying them. The process wasn’t painful at all.

            1. I wish to apologize to you for flying off at you. You seem to be one man truly helping and i acted like an ass! im sorry, truly sorry.

            2. Tony, No worries. I could tell you were just venting. We all need to do that every now and then. I didn’t feel it was directed at me or anyone else in here for that matter.

        2. Yes I received a disability percentage at first it was 20%and then it took my Senator to get involved after being injured so many times in the line of duty protecting others and apprehending suspects it just didn’t seem right for a 20% after blowing out both knees breaking my spine and my neck I was in a lot of pain I tried to go back into the military prior to 9/11 the recruiter there told me that wouldn’t happen because the doctor at Miami MEPS was 90 years old and wouldn’t even look at my medical files even though it was a slim chance since I’ve been hurt so many times I finally did get a percentage even though it added up to 120%by the military or v a slide rule it became only 80%I would have kept on going I would have made a career out of it like my best friend Dave was Goethe who put his 20 in and retired now then I had six years in but due to things out of my control like me sacrificing myself in the line of duty I couldn’t achieve my 10 years so do I not get my ID card is it my fault that because I do my job too well that I won’t receive a law enforcement officers safety act card I don’t think that’s fair all I’m asking for is a little bit of fairness and compassion Ohio state trooper pull me over I had my 214 I explained everything to her and I also do have my CCW Florida investigated and gave me my CCW my second CCW I also had one through rounds County Georgia but that being said the state trooper told me that I should have an ID from the military proving that I was law enforcement my career field was 3 to 5 – that is a real Leo I did not sit out there and babysit planes I responded to it to domestic disturbances arrested people for DUIs I did everything a regular civilian law enforcement officer so why is it that I screwed in this whole mess thank you for your time and your consideration I really hope that you can understand where I’m coming from and that you can help me thank you very much

    5. Jay, Defense Counseling Services is charging $ 160.00 for this ID Card, they have set up an elaborate system of verification which is Totally unnecessary, DOD put the rider in on HR 218 mandating this requirement, to which by the way I agree with. What I don’t agree with is who should issue the ID Card. This can be accomplished very easily at All Bases ID Card Sections, HR 218 only applies to Retirees with over 10 yrs or more of Documented Law Enforcement . That is Documented on the Original Copy of the Retirees DD For 214. So DOD made the Requirement and then handed the implementation off. That’s unacceptable
      DOD should re-issue Retied ID Cards with an annotation indicating that ID Card holder is Retired Law Enforcement..This could be done at minimum cost to the Retiree.
      I have a Active Congressional Investigation of this, I will publish the outcome. I urge Military Retirees that are eligible to contact their Congressional Representatives and express opposition to this.

      1. Bob, I appreciate your professional style response. Thank you for that. What you wrote was very interesting. However, I’m not sure what you mean by elaborate system of verification. I put my DCS packet together and receive my card 45 days later. I don’t know if you know this or not, but when I ETS’ed from the Army Reserves, I received no DD 214. I only have DD214’s for active duty service. I don’t have 10 years of AD. I have a combination of 14 years active and reserve. Using the system provided by DCS, I was able to prove enough time via copies of ID cards, orders, discharges, etc. And they accepted the documents I provided as enough proof. So please understand why someone like me would question why you call their system elaborate. It was because of their system is why I was able to receive my LEOSA card. I’m thankful for that. I believe on the other hand if it was left up to the DOD or military, they would have looked at their computer screen and said, no sorry. Do you see what I mean, brother?

        1. Jay,
          Now I understand your original posting better, you cobbled together the aggregate, something that got passed by DCS verification Standards of qualified for the minimum of 10 years of Law Enforcement, Good for you. Why you did not receive a DD Form 214 when you ETS”ed from the Reserves is presumably because you are still entitled to Benefit’s when you reach the approach Retirement age for Reserves, then you will get a DD Form 214, as a Reserve you are still subject to Recall. why DCS accepted the patchwork of documents that you provided, in and of itself is questionable, This is a good example why I question DCS Credibility, LOL

        2. Jay:
          Your right on. With all respect Bob seems to forget the major factor of
          “Seperated” Personnel. Retired ID cards are not possible for Seperated MP,CID and DoD Police. Many of us have a Hodge podge of time as an MP in the components ;RA,AR,NG etc.
          All this critical aggrgate time factor has to be properly Authenticated for conplainace with the 10 year aggregate year threshold.

          The Army Reserves has been more difficult to authenticate especially for retirees as they are known to not provide on retirement documents your MOS as MP. From what I hear this will change. The National Guard does place on the NGB 22 your MOS position.

          The issuance of a LEOSA credential is serious business that cannot be compromised and must be professionally and methodically undertaken. Something which so far DCS has been doing.

          People should remember this is a fairly ” New World” for the Military Establishment.
          It is highly likely that one day there may be a Centralization; Uniform Standard across the board for all Military Services Lawenforcement with regard to probation time, format of the actual credential etc. As well as a Centralized Processing Authority to process and issue LEOSA Credentials and updates etc be it DCS or another contractor or the Airforce and Army or DoD directly, we will see it’s all relativly new, give it some time the format of the credential will most likely change in time as well.

          So far the work done by DCS has been overall good efficient methodically done.

          1. Agreed. The requirements for a retired LEOSA ID are completely different than the requirement to be retired military. I’m a retired LEOSA but no where near meet the requirements to be retired military. Bob needs to understand that it’s not all cut and dry or necessarily all from one location. People should value ones efforts and labor. A while ago, I spent many years developing a website at I got ousted from some forums because I charged a small fee to be a member. It cost me several thousand dollars and an untold amount of hours to develop the site, yet some people got pissed because I didn’t offer the service for free. I fail to understand that logic. People should not expect ones services or labor for free. That’s all I’m saying really.

          2. kadio, all that, and you have said nothing, HE 218/stipulates 10.yrs min, and Retired , so would it be a stretch to say you are part of the DEFENSE Counseling Service Cabal, sure sounds like it,if not you should be speaking out about how RETIREES and being Charged an absorbent charge for a document that DOD said in the amendment to HR 218 was required, I am not opposed to the requirement
            , actually I agree with the stipulation, just not the source !

          3. Kaido Ojamaa,I disagree, when you said ” Retired ID cards are not possible for Separated MP,CID and DoD Police.” This could be accomplished with little cost TO THE RETIREE wherever Military ID Cards are Issued For Retirees. How you ask, the Retiree takes his Retirement DD for 214 to the ID Section that shows that he has the minimum Time10 Years as a Military Police Officer, the Person is then Issued a New ID Card that says Retired Police Officer PERIOD. this nonsense that DCS has going, is just a Money making vehicle for a DOD Contractor.Totally unnecessary

    6. In accordance with HR 218 amended in 2013, all eligible will be required to have a ID Card stating that you are a Retired Police Officer, which on face valuer has Merit. The glitch is that although this requirement was tacked onto a DOD bill, DOD has shirked it’s responsibility to issue said ID Card at NO EXPENSE ! so DOD entered into what might be considered a pay for play contract with a DOD Contractor DEFENSE COUNSELING SERVICES, who claim to be all Retire Military Police or Air Police. They are Gouging Retires seeking to acquire the mandate ID Card $ 160.00 I have requested an investigation into this obvious abuse of Retirees via my Congressional Representatives, I urge All retires to contact their respective Congressional Reps and request the same. Since DOD thought that this requirement was needed and mandated it, via legislation, it is only Fair to Retirees that DOD issue the ID Card, that could be done by issuing a new DD form 2A Military Retired ID Card and adding to the section that says” Retired” to read ” RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT’ which can be verified with the individuals DD Form 214. at the time of issuance at NO COST to the Retiree. RETIREES PLEASE DON’T TAKE THIS LAYING DOWN, WE DESERVE BETTER !

      1. Personally, I don’t think that’s gouging. I say that because I have to pay $135 every two years to renew my tags with the State. (for what? a new sticker) Compare that to the fact that my LEOSA ID card is good for life, no renewal. They have to pay someone to examine the packets and process and create the ID’s. Plus they have to maintain that data forever. All of that has cost associated with it. I think the charge is justifiable, but that’s just me. How can anything be free? I’m curious to know where you got that idea.

        1. Jay:
          Your spot on. Hit the nail right on. The application fee charged by DCS is proportional for their services.
          The only fee complaint I have with DCS is the fee charged for changing address and status it should be lowered as $20+ could go to half of that. Otherwise do far DCS has been doing professional methodical job. Sure I would like to see credentials and updates free as most Civilian Police agencies do. Who would not?
          So far DCS performance has been is good.

        2. Jay, I was medically retired from the ASAF after 9 years of service as a member of the Security Forces. I was injured in the line of duty and retired at 65%. Do I fall under the retired LEOSA? Thank you

          1. Based on what you wrote, personally I’d apply for a RETIRED LEOSA, not a SEPARATED through DCS. I began my application by selecting the retired option, and provided a copy of my VA ID with “Service Connected” on it, and I got the “Retired” LEOSA. However, I do have 14 years total AD and Reserves. But I wanted the retired designation versus the separated. There are a lot of laws that are written for retired LEO’s and not necessarily separated. I’ve been able to do quite a lot with my retired LEO credentials. With a service connected disability, it doesn’t matter how many years you have as long as you weren’t under any probationary period. (Which the military doesn’t even have)

            926c B(3)
            separated from service with such agency,
            after completing any applicable probationary
            period of such service, due to a service-connected disability, as determined by such agency;


      2. Robert Taber:

        You missed some very critical parts of the implementation of the LEOSA law. First you have forgotten Seperated Military Police,CID and Army DoD Civilian Police personnel.

        As Many LEOSA qualified personnel are seperated but not Retired. As Such those seperated would not be entitled to a Retired ID card.

        Secondly the law including the 2013 NDA upgrade states nothing of authentication with a DD FM 214. It would be nice for qualified,Active,Seperated and Retited LEOSA qualifees the credential free of charge as most Civilian Police Departs do maybe one day.

        Reguarding Defense Consulting Services-DCS.

        Yes DCS does charge fees for the credential and any status changes or address changes all of which includes a lifetime issued credential for Seperated and Retired persons. As such it most often requires an extensive background checks to authenticate the applicants claim to the necessary aggregate years of Lawenforcement service.

        The Departments of the Airforce and Army did Not want Base/Post ID card sections handling this extra more in-depth tasks as a result this important task was this contracted out and DCS was appointed the contractor. All of which costs money to provide the necessary work services which are handled very methodically and professionally by Defense Consulting Services,(DCS) personnel.

      3. With all due respect you can do what you want but I would not encourage anyone to help you in your fight against DOD.

        Consider this for a moment, if you push hard enough DOD can cancel the ID program and not issue anything..nothing in the law says an agency has to issue credentials…

        Be careful for what you wish for . If may screw us all.

        I have no problem paying for a retired credential so I can conceal carry as a retired law enforcement officer..i live in New Jesey..i would pay even more if asked..

        Thank you


        1. I agree. Why rock the boat? So many people complaining about it not being free makes me laugh. Just be glad it came to light for us prior military at all.

    7. Department of the Army now issuing retired LEOSA creds via same company as A.F.10 year minimum. As MP or DOD police. Need photo, complete application, 214 or SF 50. FBI self background check.cost is $160.00, good for life

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