President Trump issues executive order to protect police, judges, prosecutors and their families

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WASHINGTON, DC- On Monday, President Trump continued his history of being an unabashed supporter of law enforcement. In one of his last executive orders as president, he issued an “Executive Order on Protecting Law Enforcement Officers, Judges, Prosecutors And Their Families.”

 

We do not expect that any such order would be forthcoming from a Biden administration. Hopefully Biden won’t reverse this one.

The order calls for the removal of “undue barriers” to law enforcement officers, both active and retired, in obtaining concealed carry licenses, will allow federal prosecutors to obtain concealed carry licenses, and would expand protection for federal judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers.

“Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers should not have to choose between public service and subjecting themselves and their families to danger,” the president wrote in the order.

“Accordingly, I am ordering enhanced protections for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers.”

In issuing the order, the president acknowledged that some public servants “face unique risks to their safety and the safety of their families.”

The president recognized that many who are subject to what they believe to be an “adverse judicial decision” may act to “intimidate or punish judges and prosecutors with threats of harm.”

Trump noted a case last year in New Jersey, where a former litigant before a federal judge murdered the judge’s 20-year-old son while critically wounding her husband.

The president commended those who work in the criminal justice system who show “resiliency in the face of the danger they regularly face” and said they were “an inspiration for all of us in public service.”

“Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers should not have to choose between public service and subjecting themselves and their families to danger. My administration has no higher priorities than preserving the rule of law in our country and protecting the men and women who serve under its flag,” the President Trump wrote.

Under current law, federal law enforcement officers are permitted to carry nationwide under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004. Trump is seeking to remove undue obstacles which prevent “current or retired Federal law enforcement officers from carrying a concealed firearm” as allowed under the act.

The executive order will also permit concealed carry by federal prosecutors, and requires the Attorney General to propose a regulation within 30 days of the order’s issuance to revise the Code of Federal Regulations. 

This would serve to provide the status of a Deputy United States Marshall to be granted upon request when those prosecutors or their family members face risk of harm resulting from their service as federal prosecutors.

The order also enhances protection of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers, including authorizing concealed carry, remove and/or minimize personally identifiable information from public websites and records of current and former judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers in compliance with Constitutional requirements.

The law would also prohibit state and local governments “from obstructing the ability of qualified law enforcement officers and qualified retired law enforcement officers, as those terms are defined by the LEOSA, from carrying a concealed firearm pursuant to the LEOSA, including by refusing to issue identification documents.”

In addition to the executive order outlined above, President Trump also issued another executive order which would add dozens of names to be honored with statues in a new national monument, which he announced on July 4, 2020.

 

That order would add former Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, William Rehnquist and Antonin Scalia, along with presidents, among them John Adams, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and others such as Walt Disney, Muhammed Ali, and Alex Trebek, as well as a number of the Founding Fathers.

President Trump’s initial executive order on the new monument said it will be open to the public by July 2026, however it is unknown if Biden will quash that idea.

It is also estimated that President Trump will issue some 100 pardons on Tuesday, scheduled to be his last day in office. Historically presidents use the last full day in office to issue pardons. It is doubtful that Trump will pardon radicals such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did on their way out the door.

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Last year, Law Enforcement Today wrote on how police in New Jersey were suing the State of New Jersey for violating the LEOSA. For more on that, we invite you to:

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TRENTON, NJ – Monday, the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) in conjunction with the New Jersey State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (NJFOP) filed a lawsuit against the State of New Jersey for a violation of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA).

That’s a lot of acronyms in one sentence, but stay with me.

The lawsuit specifically names Gurbir Grewal, NJ State Attorney General, and Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of NJ State Police.

If you’re not familiar with LEOSA, it’s an act passed by Congress in 2004 that said qualified active and retired law enforcement officers were allowed under federal law to carry concealed authorized firearms throughout the United States.

The act was expanded twice in 2010 and 2013, indicating continued support for the act in Congress.

The State of New Jersey, FLEOA and NJFOP state, has “chosen to consistently neglect this important public safety federal law.”

The organizations claim:

“New Jersey has enacted state laws that deny qualified law enforcement officers their concealed carry rights under LEOSA.”

Specifically, they say:

“In October 2018, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey issued a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document concerning the State’s application of the LEOSA with respect to qualified active retired officers which rejects the exemption for these officers, stating the purpose of the law is ‘to bar prosecution for retired LEOs who carry concealed firearms in interstate commerce.’ This is completely incorrect…According to S Rept. 111-233, the purpose of the LEOSA is to recognize that:

“‘law enforcement officers occupy a unique place in American society and should be entrusted with special privileges related to firearms. The bill the Committee reports in the 111th Congress continues this recognition by making improvements to existing law necessary to ensure that qualified retired officers are able to gain the privileges and protections Congress originally intended in the Law Eforcement Officers Safety Act of 2003.’

“Further, the State Attorney General’s FAQ states that qualified retired law enforcement officers are prohibited from carrying hollow point bullets, which ignores the Federal statute which provides a very explicit exemption for ammunition that is ‘not expressly prohibited by Federal law or subjected to the provisions of the National Firearms Act.'”

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

The organizations also indicated that they have attempted to resolve the issue with the Governor, the State Attorney General, and the State legislature, to no avail.

In a letter to US Attorney general William Barr, the National Fraternal Order of Police President Pat Yoes said:

“The State of New Jersey should not be able to change existing law by misinterpreting the statute and ignoring its legislative history of the intention of Congress.”

Further, Yoes stated:

“Retired officers in New Jersey may be in legal jeopardy to prosecution by the State for adhering to the Federal law, which is very clear on the exemption…For this reason, the State FOP has taken a lead role and filed a complaint with the US District Court for the District of New Jersey.”

In a press release regarding the lawsuit, New Jersey FOP President Bob Fox said:

“When an officer takes their oath to protect and serve their community, it does not end when the badge comes off and an officer retires.

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) acknowledges this fact and provides qualified, former law enforcement with the opportunity to continue serving the public after their retirement if they feel compelled.

When Congress passed LEOSA with wide bipartisan support, they accepted that there are no better trained individuals to respond to a threat than qualified retired law enforcement officers.”

Additionally in the release, FLEOA President Larry Cosme said:

“In the state of New Jersey, we see that criminals at times have easier access to firearms than qualified retired law enforcement officers.

The intent of LEOSA was to bring a force multiplier of qualified retired law enforcement officers onto the streets of America, so criminals would think twice before acting.

“By adding their own regulatory scheme that violates the clear language of LEOSA and making it almost impossible in some cases for an officer to carry their authorized firearm, the State of New Jersey continues to make the public less safe for its residents, who are already impacted by the violent crime statistics in some of its major cities.

“Under LEOSA, a clear set of regulations is prescribed for qualified law enforcement offices to follow. Within those regulations, the agencies or departments that an officer served with make the determination if an officer is qualified or not.

New Jersey regulations try to preempt that process and make arbitrary decisions regarding who is and is not qualified, including the ability to deny an otherwise qualified officer, a clear breach of federal law.

“FLEOA has worked closely with other states who have a fair and federally compliant interpretation of LEOSA. We have attempted to work with New Jersey state officials but have been thwarted.

Now we are left with the only recourse that will protect our members and their rights by filing suit against the state. Congress has protected their right not once, not twice, but three times yet New Jersey ignores them.

This is not a matter of states’ rights or gun rights, it is a matter of public safety and New Jersey politicians thwarting federal law and endangering the public instead of supporting the safety to the officers who have trained, committed, and devoted their lives to protecting the public.”

It’s fitting that as National Police Week kicks off, organizations like FLEOA and the FOP are advocating for active and retired law enforcement officers, ensuring that they are able to keep themselves and others safe.

Law Enforcement Today will be monitoring the lawsuit and will bring you updates as available.

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