FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!

Security Policy and the Cloud

Ask The Expert

Mark Rivera

FBI-CJIS Security Policy Compliance Officer

Mark Rivera, Customer Retention Manager and CJIS Security Compliance Officer with Vigilant Solutions, served for sixteen years with the Maryland State Police, retiring at the rank of First Sergeant with thirteen of those years at the supervisory and command level. He holds a Master of Science Degree in Management from The Johns Hopkins University and Secret clearance through the FBI, Baltimore.

Tactical Pants - Galls
A popular choice for public safety professionals, the Galls Tactical Pants are...

Departments : Point of Law

To Keep and Bear Arms

Concealed carry laws for active and former police officers are more than a little confusing.

February 01, 2009  |  by Devallis Rutledge - Also by this author

Second Amendment Exceptions

In the few months since it was issued, the Heller decision has repeatedly been invoked in defense of various firearms charges around the country. Criminal defendants have sought to use Heller and the Second Amendment to fight charges of illegal possession. So far, lower courts have not refused to enforce longstanding prohibitions on concealed firearms or the possession of weapons by convicted felons and certain others, or on the possession of unconventional dangerous weapons such as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns.

Foreseeing that challenges would arise, the Supreme Court affirmed in Heller that such restrictions would not violate the Second Amendment. Said the court, "Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever and for whatever purpose. For example, concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.

"Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on the longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions on the commercial sale of firearms." (DC v. Heller)

Citing this language, federal appeals courts have ruled that the Second Amendment is not violated by laws forbidding convicted felons from possessing guns (U.S. v. Irish), nor by prohibitions on the possession of machine guns (U.S. v. Gilbert), nor by bans on sawed-off shotguns. (U.S. v. Fincher) State courts have read Heller as allowing punishment for carrying a concealed firearm. (People v. Flores) So while Heller has upheld the right of law-abiding individuals to possess handguns and unlocked long guns in the home for self-defense, most weapons-violations statutes will remain enforceable.

Changing Times

Obviously, laws affecting the possession of firearms by both law enforcement officers and civilians are undergoing revision and challenge. It's important for officers to keep updated on the developments with ongoing training and research. Local prosecutors and legal advisers should be consulted as to specific issues in your jurisdiction.

Devallis Rutledge is a former police officer and veteran prosecutor who currently serves as Special Counsel to the Los Angeles County District Attorney. He is the author of 11 books, including "Courtroom Survival, The Officer's Guide to Better Testimony."

«   Page 3 of 3   »


Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine