First off I’m not former law enforcement and don’t qualify for LEOSA. What I do know is that the intention of LEOSA and how it’s implement is not perfect and those who qualify for LEOSA need to understand the law before they depend upon it.
One of the best resources is the NRA-ILA. They stay on top of changes and advocate for improvements to the law.
This is very short description of a catch-22 for LEOSA holders in Ohio that we would like to educate people on.
The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a Federal law, passed in 2004 after the 9/1/2001 terrorist attacks, that allow current qualified retired law enforcement officer to carry a firearm across the United States that is not against that state law. That’s the intent of the legislation but let’s look at how it’s implemented in Ohio.
Ohio: LEOSA simply allows retired law enforcement to carry in any other state that they would not otherwise be prohibited from carrying in. That means driving between states can be done a lot easier than with a CCW permit which you have to check out each state that you travel through. Although in Ohio there are specific exceptions to prohibited areas ares for CCW holders that do not apply to LEOSA holders. Areas like school parking lots, establishments that serve alcohol, and day cares. What this means is if you have a LEOSA license but not a CCW permit then you can’t carry in this locations.
The bottom line when it comes to LEOSA it’s a carry permit recognized on the Federal level. It is NOT a CCW license even if it functions like it in a lot of respects.
We recommend that if you are going to regularly carry in Ohio it would be behoove you to get your Ohio CCW permit or you home state CCW permit. This allows you to carry in Ohio without getting into a legal tangle because you have a LEOSA permit and not a CCW license.
Note: Remember to always research state and federal laws when traveling. If you have specific questions hire qualified legal counsel.