Lewisberry, PA (PRWEB) February 1, 2010
Today, FLEOA National President J. Adler asked President Obama to consider issuing an Executive Order authorizing all law enforcement officers, active and retired, and certified by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) to carry firearms aboard aircraft on all domestic flights.
The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (PL-108-277) authorizes all law enforcement officers, active and retired, to carry firearms anywhere in the country, at any time, as long as they meet the criteria set forth in the act and qualify with their firearm on an annual basis. FLEOA maintains that all law enforcement officers who are LEOSA certified, and possess an annual medical clearance, are valuable assets that should be used to augment our domestic flight coverage.
Law enforcement officers accrue invaluable field experience carrying both on and off duty throughout their careers. Irrespective of their duty status, all LEOSA certified law enforcement officers should be authorized to fly armed on domestic flights. Prior to their retirement, law enforcement officers have received thousands of hours of firearms training including the use of deadly force, flying armed policies and procedures, and are skilled in surveillance techniques to identify potential criminals or terrorists. They are all issued law enforcement credentials and are highly skilled in the use of firearms. The same applies to honorably retired law enforcement officers.
In light of the recent attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate an explosive device aboard Northwest Airline Flight 253 on Christmas Day and the additional intelligence indicating that more terrorist activity is planned, we believe that additional armed, trained law enforcement personnel aboard aircraft is necessary at this time. Recent history has shown that we cannot rely exclusively on intelligence reports or airport security screening.
Ultimately, the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) and other law enforcement officers flying armed are our last and strongest line of defense. FLEOA fully supports the President’s decision to divert more Federal Air Marshals to international flights flying into the U.S., and we propose that LEOSA certified law enforcement
officers can fill the void left on domestic flights. This would be a strong show of support for the DHS federal agents that will be assigned to augment coverage on domestic routes.
FLEOA has asked the President to act now and direct the FAA and the TSA to comply with an Executive Order authorizing LEOSA certified law enforcement officers (active and retired) to fly armed. FLEOA believes that the Federal Air Marshal Service has the ability to coordinate this effort and this action is necessary at this time as an additional layer of security to safeguard the flying public. FLEOA is providing the Administration and the Department of Homeland Security with a more detailed explanation of this proposal.
This proposal is endorsed by the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the National Border Patrol Council and the National Troopers Coalition.
Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association