U.S. Congressman Pushing Change To Block States From Banning Cops Carrying Guns

By Sandy Malone, 23 December 2018, Blue Lives Matter

U.S. Rep. Don Bacon plans to introduce important LEOSA amendments in the next Congress.

 

Washington, DC – A congressman from Nebraska is ready to introduce new amendments to the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) that will shut down lasting attempts by some states to limit the coverage of that law within their own borders.

 

U.S. Representative Don Bacon (R-Nebraska) introduced a few amendments to LEOSA that died with the end of the 115th Congress, but he’s already prepared with a bigger, better version.

 

“We have been made aware of various LEOSA abuses by states regarding implementation of this federal law and I will be introducing legislation in the 116th Congress to make improvements to LEOSA as identified by a coalition of law enforcement organizations,” Bacon told Blue Lives Matter.

 

Bacon’s proposed amendments will come as no surprise to many, particularly on the East Coast where states like New Jersey and New York have over-complicated routine travel for those specifically covered by LEOSA.

 

"Upon introduction, our changes to the LEOSA Reform Act in the 116th Congress will allow our law enforcement officers who have dedicated their lives to protect our communities, to continue doing so by extending their concealed carry privileges," the congressman said. "Allowing trained professionals with years of expertise to carry could allow them to respond more quickly to emergencies, and makes our communities safer."

 

"I know if I was in a crisis situation, I’d be relieved to have a retired officer near me who is trained and ready react safely," he said.

 

Bacon and his coalition seek to make the following changes:

 

1.Federal Gun Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) - The GFSZA currently does not permit carry for those pursuant to LEOSA even though possessing a state CCW permit does. Thus, having a state CCW means you can carry in school zones but carrying under LEOSA does not. We wish to revise the GFSZA to include an exemption for LEOSA.

 

2.State, Local, and Property Open to the Public, including Common Carriers - LEOSA currently does not override the prohibition of CCW carry on common carriers (e.g. city buses, subways, AMTRAK, etc.), nor does it override the ability of private property owners of otherwise publicly accessible property (e.g. shopping malls, stores, movie theaters, etc.) from prohibiting carry. We wish to revise LEOSA to allow qualified law enforcement officers (QLEOs) and qualified retired law enforcement officers (QRLEOs) to carry on common carriers and on state, local, and privately-owned property that is otherwise open to the public. (Courthouses and Law Enforcement facilities would continue to be restricted, as would carry for commercial airlines.)

 

3.National Parks - LEOSA currently does not permit carry in National Parks but having a state CCW permit does. We wish to revise LEOSA to specifically allow carry on all federally owned lands/properties that are otherwise open to the public.

 

4.Magazine size limitation - LEOSA currently provides an exemption from state/local restrictions on ammunition, but it does not provide an exemption from such restrictions on magazine size. Thus, one can carry hollow-point ammo under LEOSA even if it is prohibited by state/local laws, but LEOSA does not allow an exemption on magazine size limitations. We wish to revise LEOSA to also provide the magazine size exemption.

 

5.Qualification Issue - LEOSA certification currently requires annual qualification to the state standard for law enforcement or on the qualification standard of their former employing agency. This is a problem for those who reside in states for which there is no state standard for law enforcement, those states that have different standards for active versus retired law enforcement, and those states that prohibit their certified firearms instructors from qualifying retired officers. We seek to revise LEOSA to provide multiple options for meeting the annual qualification requirement and at the option of the state, extend the training requirement from every 12 months—to up to every 36 months.

6.Certain Federal Facilities – LEOSA currently does not allow carry in Federal civilian public access facilities. We wish to revise LEOSA to allow carry in a Facility Security Level I or II civilian public access facility (e.g. US Post Offices and Social Security offices, etc.) (Federal Courthouses would continue to be restricted).”

 

Bacon’s proposed amendments are broader than those that died with his last bill.

 

The new amendments address some specific issues that have come up in states that have sought to violate the spirit of LEOSA by restricting retired and active-duty officers carrying at will.

 

“Our coalition’s members, who are often retired law enforcement living in various states around the nation, are the individuals impacted by this law and notify us when they encounter problems with it,” Bacon explained.

 

The coalition backing Bacon’s proposed amendments is made up of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI (SFSAFBI/SFSAF), the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Association (FLEOA), the Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service (AFAUSSS), the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA), the National Organization of Police Organizations (NAPO), the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), and the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA).

 

The changes to LEOSA that Bacon and his coalition are proposing mostly serve as clarifications in what has become a never-ending effort to codify what the framers of the original bill had in mind when it was crafted.

 

The original LEOSA legislation passed in 2004 allowed "qualified law enforcement officers" and the "qualified retired or separated law enforcement officers" to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions.

 

The initial law unintentionally left open for interpretation exactly which officers individual states deemed to be “qualified” under LEOSA, and what kind of ammunition they could carry.

 

So in 2010, amendments were passed that extended and defined the coverage and requirements, paving the way for a larger group of active-duty and retired officers to carry under LEOSA.

 

They also expanded the definition of a permitted firearm to include any ammunition not prohibited by the National Firearms Act of 1934, thus shutting down New Jersey’s attempt to limit the carrying of hollow-point bullets.

 

Congress further expanded LEOSA with amendments in 2013 that extended its coverage to active-duty and retired military police.

 

The bill Bacon intends to introduce in the new Congress addresses specific state issues, or conflicts in the law, that have arisen.

 

Most recently, a New Jersey law went into effect that limits the size of magazines to 10 rounds or fewer, and the state indicated it also applied to those carrying under LEOSA.

 

Bacon’s amendment would solve the issue by exempting LEOSA carriers from magazine-size restrictions.

 

Statue That Pays Tribute to Female Vets on Display at Security Forces Museum

(Original article written by Rosalie Rayburn, Albuquerque Journal Staff Writer, 8 April 2018 and republished in the May-Jun 2018 Security Forces Magazine, pages 16-17.)

MSgt (ret) Judy Quintana escorted the Security Forces statue that pays tribute to female veterans to the Security Forces Museum on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on 2 January 2019 where it will remain non display until 24 April. who advised that she dropped off her "Woman Warrior" sculpture today at the SF Museum where it will stay until 24 April. After which the sculpture will next move to the AF Armament Museum at Eglin AFB for 3 months.

Quintana loved the 23 years she spent in the U.S. Air Force, believes passionately that women should get more recognition for their military service. She felt so strongly, that she decided to spend $23,000 of her savings to commission a life-size statue of herself in uniform. The “Woman Warrior” statue made by master sculptors Brett Chomer of Santa Fe and Quintana’s brother, Matthew Quintana, had its first public display March 10 at the dedication ceremony for the Women Veterans Monument in Las Cruces, NM.

Quintana, 47, a member of the Jicarilla Apache tribe, grew up in Dulce and Santa Fe. She went into the Air Force in 1988 at age 17 and chose security work because she could be outside. That path took her through basic training at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, to guarding an intercontinental ballistic missile facility at Whiteman AFB in Missouri. Next came a stint at RAF Alconbury, in England.

Triple-amputee Veteran’s GoFundMe to Pay for Trump’s Border Wall Has Raised Over $5 Million in 3 Days

By: J.D. Simkins , Military Times, 20 December 2018

 

 

President Donald Trump inspects border wall prototypes in San Diego, California, earlier this year. A Purple Heart recipient has started a GoFundMe drive with the goal of paying for wall construction. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

 

An airman who survived the most catastrophic war wounds in the service’s history has started a fundraiser — with a goal of $1 billion — in an effort to pay for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

 

Brian Kolfage, a triple-amputee Purple Heart recipient, started the GoFundMe account, “We The People Will Fund The Wall,” amidst ongoing deliberations on how the border wall, a campaign promise of President Donald Trump, will actually be funded.

 

Trump most recently stated it will be U.S. troops who are tasked with building the wall if Democrats refuse to fund the project, a notion the president emphasized over a series of Dec. 19 tweets discussing border security.

 

Kolfage, meanwhile, had enough of the delays resulting from back-and-forth funding discussions, and decided to encourage the American public — specifically those who voted for President Trump — to pay for the controversial project.

 

“If the 63 million people who voted for Trump each pledge $80, we can build the wall,” Kolfage wrote on the fundraiser page. “That equates to roughly $5 billion, Even if we get half, that’s half the wall. We can do this.”

 

Donations have been pouring in since Kolfage started the fundraiser three days ago, already generating more than $5 million from a total of more than 82,000 donors.

 

Kolfage says 100 percent of the donations will go toward wall construction, and that a point of contact within the Trump administration has been made to secure "where all the funds will go upon completion.”

 

 

 

 

 

The Kolfage family. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Kolfage)

 

 

 

 

In the event the goal — or a total sum in the neighborhood of the goal — is not reached, Kolfage says every donor will receive a full refund.

“This won’t be easy, but it’s our duty as citizens,” he says.

Kolfage became the most catastrophically wounded airman to survive his injuries when, while deployed to Iraq on Sept. 11, 2004, a 107mm enemy rocket impacted just three feet away from him.

Both of his legs were instantly shredded, he lost his dominant right hand and his lung collapsed.

Medics would go on to perform hours of life-saving surgery before placing Kolfage on a flight to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, where he arrived only 36 hours after being wounded — the fastest medevac to the U.S. from a war zone in history.

Kolfage completed rehab and walked out of the hospital only 11 months after being wounded.

“As a veteran who has given so much — three limbs — I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today,” he wrote on the fundraiser page.

A donation of this scale to fund a federal project may be unprecedented, but it would not mark the first time the government has accepted large contributions from private donors.

Billionaire David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Washington-based private-equity firm, the Carlyle Group, donated nearly $40 million between restoration and preservation projects on the Washington Monument, the Marine Corps War Memorial’s Iwo Jima sculpture, President James Madison’s historic Virginia residence, Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House and the White House Visitor Center.

J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times who was a Marine scout observer from 2004-2008. He ugly cried when the Washington Capitals won the 2018 Stanley Cup.

AFSFA note: As of 0900 hours 20 December 2018 more than $11,661,495 had been raised. Most of our readers also know Brian is a Security Forces Defender.

 

University of Louisville – Online Learning Criminal Justice Education that Makes a Difference

 

 

The University of Louisville (UofL) offers world-class Criminal Justice degrees 100% online for those who defend, serve and protect our nation, and want to advance their career with education credentials that can make a difference in their own life and the lives of others. Whether currently active duty, preparing to separate from the service or already off-duty, our students work with faculty and support staff to build a customized learning experience that sets them up for success.

As a military-friendly institution, UofL extends a special tuition rate of $250 per credit hour to eligible active duty* service members. Veterans and eligible family members may be able to use Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to cover tuition cost at standard rate**.

  • The online Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice equips students with a working knowledge of the entire criminal justice process (adult and juvenile) and the issues surrounding each portion of the process. Our students learn to make connections between theory and policy development in the criminal justice system, and build abilities to understand, identify and apply legal issues relevant to the criminal justice system and justice administration.
  • The online Master of Science in Criminal Justice is designed for security forces, law enforcement, investigation and corrections professionals who are interested in pursuing positions of leadership within the justice system, defense or security fields. The curriculum addresses theories of crime and delinquency, legal issues in criminal justice, advanced statistics and research methods as well as a number of specialized electives such as capital punishment, justice policy and justice in the media.

A degree earned online from a metropolitan research institution with a rich history in academic excellence provides students with the same quality education, learning outcomes and resources as available on campus. Outstanding faculty, student services and high levels of student engagement are just a few of the reasons US News & World Report ranked UofL’s online bachelor’s programs and the Criminal Justice graduate program as some of the best in the nation and veteran-friendly in 2018.

UofL’s online programs bring campus to students. No matter where our students are in the world, they can complete a degree without ever entering a traditional classroom. 

Learn more about UofL’s BS in Criminal Justice Online and MS in Criminal Justice Online programs, or visit louisville.edu/online to view all programs.

* Some exceptions apply. Active-duty is defined as on orders for 180 consecutive days or more.

** The standard tuition rate for online undergraduate programs at UofL is $497 per credit hour. The standard tuition rate for online graduate programs at UofL is $714 per credit hour. Tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state students. View more tuition details at http://louisville.edu/online/military/military-tuition-discounts.

Hanscom Gates Renamed for Fallen Airmen

By Mark Wyatt, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs, 3 October 2018

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – More than 250 people gathered here today for a gate dedication and renaming ceremony in honor of two former members of the 66th Security Forces Squadron.

The gate formerly known as Hartwell Gate is now the Senior Airman Kcey Ruiz Gate, or Ruiz Gate. The former Vandenberg Gate is renamed Senior Airman Nathan Sartain Gate, or Sartain Gate.

Col. Chad Ellsworth, installation commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hayes, installation command chief, assist Michael and Demetricia Ruiz unveil a plaque and monument officially renaming the Hartwell Gate as the Senior Airman Kcey Ruiz Gate at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Oct. 2. The ceremony also renamed the Vandenberg Gate to Senior Airman Nathan Sartain Gate. Both Airmen were killed in 2015 when the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were on crashed shortly after takeoff in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda LaBonte Britt)

 

 

Following a ceremony to dedicate and rename the Senior Airman Nathan Sartain Gate, formerly known as the Vandenberg Gate, Alexia Paulley, from left, Janice, Heather, Phillip and Marlie, all members of the Sartain family, stand beside a memorial at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., Oct. 2. The ceremony also renamed the Vandenberg Gate to Senior Airman Nathan Sartain Gate. Both Airmen were killed in 2015 when the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were on crashed shortly after takeoff in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jerry Saslav)

 

Both security forces Airmen were killed in 2015 when the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft they were on crashed shortly after takeoff in Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Wilmer Puello, a member of the 66 SFS who worked with Sartain, spoke about his fellow Airman during the ceremony at the Minuteman Commons.

“He wasn’t just phenomenal on the job, but off the job, too,” said Puello. “He was a fantastic human being.”

Staff Sgt. Nicholas Wright, who deployed with Sartain and Ruiz in 2015, discussed the caliber of people they were.

“They were our family; they were the best people I could have ever asked to be on a deployment team with,” he said.

Wright, who flew with Ruiz prior to her teaming with Sartain, said he could not have asked for a better partner.

“I got to know her well during this time, something I’m very thankful for,” said Wright.

Chief Master Sgt. Henry Hayes, the installation’s command chief, spoke about the Airman’s Creed as it applies to these Airmen.

“They were leaders beyond their age and rank,” he said. “We will never leave these Airmen behind. We will not fail them, their memories, your families or this nation that they loved so dearly.”

Col. Chad Ellsworth, installation commander, mentioned the importance of the ceremony.

“To the Ruiz and Sartain families, thank you for being here today to mark this historic occasion,” he said. “Today marks a day we ensure the character, honor and sacrifice of Nathan and Kcey live on forever, not only through the memories of those whose lives they touched, but as a permanent reminder to all those who enter Hanscom Air Force Base.”

The Hartwell and Vandenberg Gates received their names by direct association to the streets they are on, dedicated during official ceremonies in September 1981 and April 1991 respectively, according to Randy Bergeron, the installation historian.

During the unveiling of plaques at the two newly-named gates, Ellsworth spoke about the legacy left behind by the sentry Airmen who once stood guard at them.

“From this day forward, anyone who enters these gates will know exactly who protects and guards Hanscom Air Force Base,” he said.

AFSFA Note: The black granite plaques mounted at the gates were presented to the 66th Security Forces Squadron Commander by your AFSFA.

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