Bill allowing more retired officers to carry firearms becomes law

More retired law enforcement officers can legally carry firearms under legislation signed into law by Gov. Chris Christie. Sponsored by Assemblymen Ron Dancer, Declan O’Scanlon, Parker Space and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus, the bill (A2690/S1944) expands the list of retired law enforcement officers eligible to receive a handgun carry permit.

“It makes sense to allow these men and women to continue to carry firearms,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “They spent their careers fighting crime and keeping people safe. They know the laws and can handle weapons.”

In 1997, then-Gov. Christie Todd Whitman signed a law allowing retired police officers to carry concealed weapons in response to the murder of a retired policeman who attempted to stop a car-jacking at a Newark cemetery. The new law includes the following retired full-time officers: special agents of the Division of Taxation; Human Services police officers; New Jersey Transit police officers; campus police officers; state park and conservation officers; Palisades Interstate Park police officers; Burlington County Bridge police officers; housing authority police officers; juvenile corrections officers; parole officers; and railway police officers.

“Tragedies such as the Colorado theater shooting could have been stopped if a police officer, retired or otherwise, was present and armed,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “This will add to the number of trained and qualified people prepared to defend and protect the public. We’re expanding the pool of qualified people to help keep us safe.”

“This new law makes New Jersey more compliant with the federal law and our neighborhoods safer and more comfortable for everyone except criminals,” said Space (R-Sussex). “These are officers who have retired from their jobs, but not from their commitment to ‘protect and serve.’”

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