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  • Customs and H.R.218

    I keep getting two diffrent stories. Are U.S. Customs Officers covered by hr218? As I read the law the answer is yes, but then I hear of a story (unconfirmed) that a Detroit Officer charged a CBP officer for carrying w/o a permit. Maybe more to the story but I dont know. I am just interested in the truth about hr218.
    After the pin is pulled, Mr. Hand Grenade is no longer your friend.

    "Shut the door I'm tryin to poop!" - Larry the Cable Guy

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  • #2
    Under the current CBP firearms policy (rumor is this is subject to change) you can carry your duty firearm off-duty only. Now each state as different laws, for example in NY you can purchase and carry under state law on your creds....you don't need a permit. We are covered under HR 218 nationwide also. Bottom line is under federal law and state law (depending upon state) you can carry whatever you feel like. Under agency policy you can only carry your duty weapon. As far as the story is concerned ....how would that Officer know what CBP policy is and if he did a policy violation is not a violation of law. We can carry our duty weapon in all 50 states regardless of HR 218. To purchase and carry a different weapon you can legally carry under HR 218 and the state law if applicable. If you get involved in something off duty with a non-authorized weapon...........you are on your own. Supposedly there is a new less restrictive firearms policy in the works.
    I believe forgiveness is Gods function; my job is to simply arrange the meeting.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the info, I am in the process of completeing my SF-86 and get ready for the rest of the process.
      After the pin is pulled, Mr. Hand Grenade is no longer your friend.

      "Shut the door I'm tryin to poop!" - Larry the Cable Guy

      (\__/)
      (O.o )
      (> < )

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      • #4
        This may just be part of the friction between the CBP and the Detroit PD. Yes, this has occured in the past. The Detroit PD went on a splurge of writing tickets on the CPB officers 2 years ago at the bridge because they were taking a shortcut to the area they had to park, (don't ask)and one of the supervisors for CBP said he would no longer hold guns for DPD officers going to Canada because of it.

        CBP is a Federal law enforcement position and as I understood it allowed to carry nationwide as long as it was their service weapon and they were qualified to carry concealed by Customs.

        We were told if we wanted to carry a different weapon, we would have to get a CPL. But that was just the customs position because they didn't want to be responsible (for training?) with other weapons. It also had to be in one of 3 approved holsters.

        The Local Sheriff would not issue a CPL to me because he said I didn't need one since I was a federal officer. I was thus stuck with carrying the glock if I felt the need.

        I get the feeling things can get real confusing in Customs because of the whims of the Port Director. Port Directors make can make decisions as to what procedures and what equipment is authoriszed to be carried in their port, so this varies from port to port. In Detroit the Port Director was not an LEO, and she had never recieved any training as such. Also, many changes in Customs had to be approved by congress before they could be put into effect. The Customs Academy had been trying to change its curriculum for 10 years because part of it was outdated, but Congress couldn't get around to passing the changes. (Has this changed under Homeland Security?)

        Also, they used to be able to carry mace, but it was pulled from use 3 years ago. (did they ever get it back?) The Government also bought ASP's for all officer at about the same time they dropped the mace, but they couldn't get approval for the training, and tehy were still setting in the warehouse when I left.

        What it all adds up to is one Law Enforcement agency trying to one up another. Jurisdictional disputes can create some very strange loopholes.
        Though their numbers are many, as the grass upon the field, we will count them at the end of the day.

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        • #5
          Just out of curiosity, what are the rules today with CBP and HR 218?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by panzertank1 View Post
            Just out of curiosity, what are the rules today with CBP and HR 218?
            There is no rule, as a federal officer you can carry anytime, anywhere, even before HR 218 came about. However, agency policy (in a sense) supersedes law in that if your agency says you are not authorized to carry in xyz situation or place, then you are not authorized to carry. If agency policy says you can only carry your issue weapon, then that's it. So... HR 218 has nothing to do with it. You'd have to get the agency policy for CBP Officers if that is what you wanted to know.

            Bottom line: Would you get convicted for just violating agency policy? Probably not. Would you get fired and loose your career? Absolutely, in a heartbeat. I have told some people "if you are willing to risk your livelihood, because you feel you need to carry a cooler gun than your issued one, then go ahead."
            Last edited by yellowreef; 01-18-2008, 06:40 PM.
            "You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall... I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it."

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            • #7
              Geesh....that sounds like a lot of drama. Writing a federal law enforcement officer for a concealed weapons violation?

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              • #8
                CBPO's are covered by hr218.

                CBP the Agency, has nothing to say about it.

                HR218 gives LEO's a personal privilage to carry thier own firearm off duty anywhere in the US. In this capacity, if you use your firearm, you use it as a regular citizen to protect yourself. The Agency will not cover you. Many civilians carry firearms to protect themseves as well, and are in the same boat, except can only carry in thier locale.

                Of course CBPO's are authorized to carry thier duty weapon anywhere in the US as per policy. If a CBPO uses that firearm within the scope of employment,(witch is very restrictive and limited off duty) then theoreticaly the Agency can cover you from lawsuits and such.

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                • #9
                  When an off duty police officer uses his weapon off duty, it is as a police officer. He can still arrest someone when he is off duty. A police officer can take his weapon anywhere (expect for certian circumstances, like most casinos) in the country.

                  Do all these things apply to a CBPO as well? I would think that if a CBPO is a LEO, then using his weapon off duty wouldn't be the same as a private citizen using one.

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                  • #10
                    "When an off duty police officer uses his weapon off duty, it is as a police officer."

                    Not in another state, hence hr218.

                    A police officer, (local or state) visiting another state carrying on hr218, would be just another joe citizen.

                    No powers of arrest except that provided by any "citizens arrest" laws granted by said juristiction.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by panzertank1 View Post
                      When an off duty police officer uses his weapon off duty, it is as a police officer.
                      I don't think that is necessarily true. Some police officers have no law-enforcement authority off duty. It varies according to the state and the classification of the officer. Also, if a police officer uses his weapon for a purpose unrelated to enforcement of the law, he does not use it as a police officer.
                      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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                      • #12
                        keep in mind that while the state may recognize federal officers as peace officers within the scope of the state (If they have been trained) The agency
                        you work for (CBP) May not.

                        I once held a domestic violence suspect for the local police, and they were fine with it.

                        When I got back to Customs, I had to explain it to my Chief, Internal Affairs, My supervisor, and my training officer. Then I recieved a written reprimand that eventually cost me my position with Customs.

                        With the city I was fine, with the feds, It was not.
                        Though their numbers are many, as the grass upon the field, we will count them at the end of the day.

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                        • #13
                          Title 18 sub 926 B will cover the CBP Officer if it is not a authorized CBP weapon. The CBP officer must qualify with it. That is one of the requirements of Title 18 926b (since CBP has a Qualification requirement for officers to carry a weapon) . The question remains "was it an authorized weapon from CBP or was it an officer purchased weapon and did he QUALIFY with it as per Title 18
                          live everyday as if it your last...because one day it will be

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                          • #14
                            In PA for example, a municipal, many college, housing authority, SEPTA (railroad), and DRPA (bridge) poilce are all ACT 120 certified. They can arrest anywhere in the state, on or off-duty.

                            If a PA officer is in California and carrying his weapon and uses it, while he has no power there, they will say he is an off-duty officer, not just John Q. Public. This has already happened several times.

                            Also I would think in every state, that a police officer certified by their state as a police officer, whether it be for the state police, deputy sheriff, and municapal officer would have full law enforcement power off-duty. What states don't do that?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by sob153 View Post
                              Title 18 sub 926 B will cover the CBP Officer if it is not a authorized CBP weapon. The CBP officer must qualify with it. That is one of the requirements of Title 18 926b (since CBP has a Qualification requirement for officers to carry a weapon) . The question remains "was it an authorized weapon from CBP or was it an officer purchased weapon and did he QUALIFY with it as per Title 18
                              Well I believe you are misinformed about that.

                              No where does it say that you have to qualify with your personal weapon.

                              Dont forget that this law does not involve any agency, does not confer any LEO powers, as it is meant as a personal vehicle for off duty LEO's to carry in all of the US.

                              The only thing it says about qualification is---

                              "(4) meets standards, if any, established by the agency which require the employee to regularly qualify in the use of a firearm;"

                              "In use of A firearm"

                              That means, IF the agency has any standards at all, (some small ones have little) that the officer is current on all standards, and is able to qualify.

                              What is a little funny, as this is written, If there are no standards, or qualification, that is ok too.

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