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Surprise, Surprise. S253 Goes To Full Senate

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  • Surprise, Surprise. S253 Goes To Full Senate

    S253, the Senate version of allowing active & retired LEOs to carry interstate passed out of committee by a vote of 18 to 1. The nay vote being of course Teddy Kennedy. No further Amendments to the bill were approved. Next is a vote by the full Senate.

    It`s been reported in NY Newsday. I don`t have the link but I`m sure one of our intrepid computer whizzes will find it.
    Life is like a 3 ring circus and cops have a front row seat. It`s The Greatest Show On Earth.

  • #2
    Try this:

    http://www.grandlodgefop.org/legislation/alert.html

    March 7, 2003
    COMMITTEE ACTION ON S. 253

    On 6 March, the Senate Judiciary Committee marked-up and favorably reported S. 253, the "Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act," on an 18-1 vote.

    The legislation, the F.O.P.'s top priority in the Senate, had been the first legislative item on the Judiciary Committee's agenda since early February, but debates over judicial nominees occupied most of the Committee's time. At the Committee meeting on 6 March, Chairman Hatch set aside the Committee's other business to consider S. 253.

    Senator Kennedy, who had previously signaled his intention to offer amendments in an effort to defeat, water down, and delay favorable Committee action on the legislation, offered four of the seven amendments he had prepared. An analysis of those amendments and the results of the votes can be found below.

    Senator Kennedy first offered Amendment #130, which would allow police chiefs and law enforcement executives to prohibit active law enforcement officers from carrying weapons even while off-duty. The Senator, citing the strong support of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for the amendment, argued that the legislation would permit law enforcement officers to carry any firearm while on-duty, unless it was made clear that officers were not exempt from a law enforcement agency's rules, policies and practices.

    The F.O.P. opposed the amendment. The provisions of the amendment must be examined in terms of the labor-management relationship. Employers should not have the authority to make decisions affecting the safety of an off-duty officer. The actions and decisions of the employee should not be subject to review and approval by his employer. We also pointed out that Senator Kennedy?s and the IACP's contention that police chiefs and police executives would be unable to prohibit on-duty law enforcement officers from carrying firearms other than the one issued to them by their department is spurious at best. A law enforcement officer is not permitted to drive his own car on patrol—he has to drive the department's patrol vehicle. Nor can a law enforcement officer wear whatever clothing he likes—officers are required to dress in a uniform or other approved dress. Police chiefs and command officers will be able to define what their on-duty officers will carry if S. 253 becomes law, just as they can set other regulations and policies regarding an officer's on-duty conduct.

    Chairman Hatch moved to table, or kill, the amendment, removing it from the Committee's consideration. The vote tally is as follows:

    Voting AYE (16): Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member Leahy, Senators Grassley, Specter, Kyl, DeWine, Sessions, Graham, Craig, Chambliss, Cornyn, Biden, Kohl, Feinstein, Schumer and Edwards.

    Voting NAY (3): Senators Kennedy, Feingold and Durbin.

    The amendment was tabled, or killed.

    Senator Kennedy then offered Amendment #133, which sought to add a "performance based" standard to Federal law prohibiting certain types of ammunition and also give the U.S. Attorney General the power to ban brands of ammunition which are deemed to be advertised as "armor-piercing" rounds. The Senator argued that the legislation would protect law enforcement officers from ammunition designed to penetrate body armor. Senator Durbin also argued in favor of the amendment.

    The F.O.P. opposed the amendment. The fact is that, since 1992, no law enforcement officer has been killed by a round fired from a handgun which penetrated his soft body armor—such rounds are, by definition, illegal, and thus make the amendment unnecessary. At this time, no expansion or revision of the current law is needed to protect law enforcement officers from armor-piercing rounds. It was not a genuine officer safety issue. If it were, Senator Kennedy would not have offered the amendment to a bill he strongly opposes and is working to defeat. It was an attempt to damage the bill's future chances on the Senate floor and in the House.

    Chairman Hatch moved to table, or kill, the amendment, removing it from the Committee's consideration. The vote tally is as follows:

    Voting AYE (10): Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member Leahy, Senators Grassley, Specter, Kyl, Sessions, Graham, Craig, Chambliss, and Cornyn.

    Voting NAY (6): Senators Kennedy, Kohl, Feingold , Schumer, Durbin and Edwards.

    PASS, not voting (3): Senators DeWine, Biden and Feinstein.

    The amendment was tabled, or killed.

    Senator Kennedy then offered Amendment #132, which would allow States to "opt out" of complying with the legislation once signed into law. Senators Kennedy and Durbin argued that "States' rights" would be violated without the opt-out provision.

    The F.O.P. opposed the amendment. The problem that the legislation is trying to solve is the nationwide patchwork of different laws and regulations regarding the carrying of concealed firearms, which may place active and retired law enforcement officers in legal jeopardy. Congress has the authority, under the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution, to extend full faith and credit to qualified active and retired law enforcement officers who have met the criteria to carry firearms set by one State, and make those credentials applicable and recognized in all States and territories in these United States. States and localities issue firearms to their police officers and set their own requirements for their officers in training and qualifying in the use of these weapons. This legislation maintains the States' power to set these requirements and determine whether or not an active or retired officer is qualified in the use of the firearm, and would allow only this narrow universe of persons to carry their firearms when traveling outside their jurisdiction. This is similar to the States' issuance of drivers' licenses--the standards may differ slightly from State to State, but all States recognize that the drivers have been certified to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways. Further, Congress has previously acted to exempt armored car guards and airline pilots from State and local prohibitions on the carrying of firearms. In June of 1993, the Senate and House approved PL 103-55, the "Armored Car Industry Reciprocity Act." This law mandated reciprocity for weapons licenses issued to armored car company crew members among States (including the District of Columbia). In its final form, the bill passed both the House and the Senate by voice vote. Congress amended the Act in 1998, providing that the licenses must be renewed every two years. The law allows armored car guards--who do not have nearly the same level of training and qualifications as law enforcement officers--to receive a license to carry a firearm in one State and forces other States to recognize its validity. Both the House and the Senate also passed legislation which deputized airline pilots and granted them an exemption to State and local prohibitions on the carrying of firearms. The House adopted H.R. 4635, the "Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act," on 10 July 2002 by a vote of 310-113 (Roll Call Vote #292). On 5 September 2002, the Senate adopted Senate Amendment No. 4492, the "Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act and Cabin Defense Act," which passed on an 87-6 vote and was incorporated into H.R. 5005, which is now PL 107

    Chairman Hatch moved to table, or kill, the amendment, removing it from the Committee's consideration. The vote tally is as follows:

    Voting AYE (15): Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member Leahy, Senators Grassley, Specter, Kyl, DeWine, Sessions, Graham, Craig, Chambliss, Cornyn, Biden, Feinstein, Schumer and Edwards.

    Voting NAY (4): Senators Kennedy, Kohl, Feingold, and Durbin.

    The amendment was tabled, or killed.

    Senator Kennedy then offered Amendment #129, which would allow local governments to prohibit concealed weapons in churches, schools, bars, sport stadiums, government offices, hospitals, health facilities and any place where alcohol is served. The Senator argued that his amendment would create "safe harbors" and allow States and localities to prohibit the carrying of firearms. Senator Kennedy and Senator Durbin misrepresented the amendment, possibly unintentionally, stating that if the bill passed as introduced, only out-of-State law enforcement officers would be able to carry in the venues described in the amendment if State or local laws prohibited the carrying in those venues. In fact, the bill does not exempt qualified active or retired officers from State laws which permit private persons or entities to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed firearms on their property or those which prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government property, installation, building, base, or park. Under the bill, a State could prohibit the possession of a concealed firearm in all of the venues described in the amendment. Our opposition to the amendment was predicated on the extension of this authority to local government. The problem that the legislation is trying to solve is the legal patchwork regarding the carrying of concealed firearms, which may place active and retired law enforcement officers in legal or physical jeopardy.

    Chairman Hatch moved to table, or kill, the amendment, removing it from the Committee's consideration. The vote tally is as follows:

    Voting AYE (14): Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member Leahy, Senators Grassley, Specter, Kyl, DeWine, Sessions, Graham, Craig, Chambliss, Cornyn, Biden, Feinstein, Schumer and Edwards.

    Voting NAY (4): Senators Kennedy, Kohl, Feingold and Durbin.

    PASS, not voting (1): Senator DeWine.

    The amendment was tabled, or killed.

    The Committee then voted on the bill itself, S. 253, the "Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act." The vote tally was as follows:

    Voting AYE (18): Chairman Hatch, Ranking Member Leahy, Senators Grassley, Specter, Kyl, DeWine, Sessions, Graham, Craig, Chambliss, Cornyn, Biden, Kohl, Feinstein, Feingold, Schumer, Durbin and Edwards.

    Voting NAY (1): Senator Kennedy.

    The legislation was favorably reported. The Committee will issue a written report on the legislation in the near future.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For more information or elaboration, please do not hesitate to contact the National F.O.P. Legislative Office at 202.547.8189 or via e-mail.



    m*m

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the breakdown m*m!

      It helps a bunch.

      So, what's the "no-sheeter"? Will it pass?
      People have more fun than anybody.

      Comment


      • #4
        The house bill:

        http://www.hr218.com/index.htm
        Do your best, do what is right

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't have a lot of faith in the "full faith and credit" provisions doing much for us--it does not specifically refer to law enforcement officers and, if it really worked as alluded to in this argument, all citizens of the US would already be authorized to carry openly or concealed with no limitations--a la Vermont.

          MHO
          DaveInTx

          Comment

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