Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2018


The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is one of the handful of federal statutes that preempt state firearms regulation. It allows covered individuals (certain current and retired qualified law enforcement personnel) to possess firearms notwithstanding assorted state restrictions-to protect themselves and to supplement local law enforcement efforts.

The act reflects a careful legislative balancing of federalism concerns. Although it relies on states and localities to issue the authorizing credentials, it does not mandate states create a licensing regime out of whole cloth. The act ultimately presents issues requiring a nuanced assessment of the doctrine proscribing federal commandeering of the states. This Article probes the interpretation of LEOSA and the federalism issues raised by the act.



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