NC LEO's Off-Duty Carry... [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Sampo
11-10-2011, 15:34
What's up guys, I've been having a debate with my chief about the ccw laws for the state and how they affect LE.

Here is an excerpt from the State DOJ Law Enforcement Liason Publication:

III. POSSESSING AND CARRYING FIREARMS

A. Carrying Concealed Weapons

"Only certain categories of persons in North Carolina are allowed, in particular circumstances, to carry concealed weapons... The following categories of persons are exempt from the restriction of North Carolina's concealed weapons laws:

2. Civil and law enforcement officers of the United States

4. Officers of the State, or of any county, city, or town, charged with the execution of the laws of the State, when acting in the discharge of their official duties...

8. State probation or parole certified officers, when off-duty, provided that an officer does not carry a concealed weapon while consuming alcohol or an unlawful controlled substance remains in the officer's body.

9. Sworn law enforcement officer, when off-duty, provided that an officer does not carry a concealed weapon while consuming alcohol or an unlawful controlled substance remains in the officer's body."

Link to the publication : http://ncja.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/a18f57fc-d990-43f0-8982-feb1f4c72deb/NC-Firearms-Laws-Pub-2011.aspx

Obviously I left out the sections not relevant to my forthcoming question, they mainly deal with National Guard and DA's, ADA's and DA Investigators... but I provided the link in case anyone wants to read it. It really is a good compilation of NC Gun Laws.

OK, here is the question/issues. No where in the publication does it state that the Officer has to qualify with the off-duty weapon, which is where the debate picks up. Key phrase is "The following categories of persons are exempt from the restriction of North Carolina's concealed weapons laws"

Our firearms instructor went over the law in our last class, and as it reads he told us that duty weapons are off limits "off-duty", but personal weapons are good to go off-duty and we don't need to qualify with them.

However, local PD chief states that you have to qualify with off-duty gun.

Clearly, two differing opinions, PD chief states it is implied that you have to qualify. FI obviously disagrees, but foresees the Dept. adding some qualification course for off-duty carry into policy.

My question is, who has the more common sense approach? I think that the PD approach deals with policy more than with the way the law reads.

What's the general thought from my fellow NC LEO's. What does your Dept. or Agency say about off-duty carry. Is qualification policy driven?

Thanks a bunch...

GackMan
11-10-2011, 15:56
My question is, who has the more common sense approach? I think that the PD approach deals with policy more than with the way the law reads.

I think you are correct; it is two separate issues.

One is the law - the law only establishes that cops can carry guns. Listing a need to qualify, how you carry, what ammo, etc etc is ouside the purpose of that law. I'm sure everyone in NC is happy that the legislature didn't get that specific with the law.

The policy is dept specific. The chief can tell you what you can/can't carry as a condition of employment. In and effort to limit liability, because he's a jerk, whatever... he can stop you from carrying your Lorcin .25 off duty and/or make you qualify with it. They can dictate things like what kind of holster you can use, gun you can carry, what ammo to use, minimum caliber, that it must be concealed, must select an off duty gun from a list of approved manufacturers, etc.

Is it illegal to carry your Jennings in your sock when you are off duty? no.
Can you get fired or in trouble administratively for doing so? yes.

What's a common sense approach? Somewhere in between "carry whatever you want" and "carry your full duty belt off duty.... but concealed."

BamaTrooper
11-10-2011, 16:13
We have a qualification for an off duty/back up gun. Simple course. we apply through our chain to carry the gun as a back up.
It is suggested, not required, that we carry off duty. Does the law in NC require some proof of qualification for off duty?
As for the city PD chief, I assume he can make rules for his guys. If you have more than 2-3 guns, can you imagine trying to qualify with everyone you [B]might[B] carry?

glocksalot
11-10-2011, 17:24
by policy, we are supposed to qualify with our off duty carry firearm...

the qualification course is the exact same as the on duty firearm

RVER
11-10-2011, 17:53
Many LEO's that are otherwise authorized to carry a FA off duty without a permit choose to get and to carry on a permit rather than on their credentials to avoid departmental restrictions... Get a CCW and then choose how and what you want to carry. I like choices.

Steve in PA
11-10-2011, 17:58
In PA, State law says a police officer can carry, period. It makes no mention of firearms or qualifications.

MPOETC, the governing body for law enforcement in PA says that in order for a police officer to retain his certification every year, he must qualify with a firearm. It stands to reason that this means his duty weapon. It makes no mention of an off-duty or back up weapon.

However, department policy dictates that we must qualify with every firearm we will carry; duty, off-duty or back up.

So, by state law......as long as I keep my certification, I can carry anything, say a Raven .25 semi-auto. But, if I did carry this, I would be in violation of department policy since 1) I did not qualify with this and 2) the weapon was not approved by the chief.

State Law says I can carry anything.

MPOETC says I must qualify (with my duty weapon) to keep my certification.

Department policy says I can only carry an approved firearm and that I must qualify with it.

OLY-M4gery
11-10-2011, 18:48
If you are carrying "off duty" because you are a police officer, then you have to follow the policies regarding off duty carry enacted by your department.

Your firearms instructor seems like he has some "interesting" theories.

kirgi08
11-10-2011, 20:14
Are you east of Charlotte or west? .'08.

Sampo
11-10-2011, 22:40
East of CLT., and as it stands currently our Dept. does not have an off-duty carry policy other than not to carry our duty weapon "off-duty."

Hack
11-10-2011, 22:51
In my agency, (which agency has facilities in your state), it's pretty simple. We qualify with our duty weapons, which gives us the bare basics on correct handling of firearms, how to shoot them, when to shoot them, so forth and so on. Our issued duty weapons are issued to us as needed depending on the position that we are working. So, we do not carry our duty weapons off duty, although we may buy and carry any firearm off duty that is concealable, including a weapon that is exactly like our duty weapon. We have no restrictions on type of, quantity of, or what have you.

k9medic
11-11-2011, 07:47
Our policy on firearms, which I helped to write (in part) -

Off Duty – While off duty and in compliance with the Law Enforcement Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA) sworn law enforcement officers are permitted to carry a Department issued firearm or a Department approved personally owned firearm while off-duty provided: (This policy does not preclude the officer from carrying a firearm under the authority of a valid concealed weapons permit issued by the State of Florida or while taking part in any lawful firearms related activity.)

1. The Department badge and identification card must be carried when a Officer is off-duty and carrying a firearm.

2. All firearms carried or used off-duty shall be approved by the Department and registered with the Department. The Department shall inspect each firearm for proper functioning and suitability for police service. The training Section shall keep a file or register listing the approved firearms, its description and owner and shall forward a copy to the Department Supervisor and the Personnel Section.

3. Officers shall qualify with their off-duty firearm to the same level of proficiency as their duty weapon. The Training Section shall document the Officer’s proficiency on a Department approved course of fire.

4. Off duty Officers in civilian clothing shall keep their firearm concealed from view when in public.

5. An issued firearm or an approved off-duty firearm will be carried when a Officer is operating a Department vehicle.

Additionally, when operating a Department vehicle a badge and identification card must be carried.

7. Firearms shall not be carried into liquor establishments at any time an Officer is engaged in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, unless the Officer is authorized previously in writing by the Chief.

8. Time and safety permitting, the badge and identification card shall be prominently displayed and the officer's identity and authority announced before the officer's weapon is exposed or used. In all cases a verbal announcement of the officer's identity and authority shall be made.

9. Due to the possibility of not being recognized a law enforcement officer and the possibility of a lack of immediate communication with headquarters, an off-duty officer in XXXXXXX (the city) shall take action with a displayed weapon only in the event of a forcible felony or to come to the aid of another person in the need of immediate assistance. In any event, the off-duty Officer shall summon an on-duty Officer to the scene to be the primary investigating officer.

merlynusn
11-11-2011, 10:00
The law merely states that LEOs are exempt from the CCW statutes. It's 14-269(b). The statute does not state that it has to be a department issued gun or that you have to qualify with it.

Our policy states we have to qualify with our off duty/backup gun and they have to be inspected prior to qualification by the range staff. LEOSA only states that you have to qualify with the similar type of gun, not the exact gun you are carrying (if I'm wrong, please correct me here).

So per the law, I can carry whatever I want when I run to the store. Per departmental policy, unless I'm carrying my duty weapon or a weapon I qualified with, then I'll get written up. I don't know why your FI would say that duty weapons are off limits for off duty carry.

Vigilant
11-11-2011, 11:06
Since K9 briefly mentioned this, I will offer a thought: I believe LEOSA mandates regular qualification (annually), and this may be where the OP's Chief came up with the requirement for qualification.

blueiron
11-11-2011, 13:44
Many LEO's that are otherwise authorized to carry a FA off duty without a permit choose to get and to carry on a permit rather than on their credentials to avoid departmental restrictions... Get a CCW and then choose how and what you want to carry. I like choices.

I did this but there is an important caveat if you elect to do this.

While you can carry under a permit, electing to act under color of authority as a police officer immediately places the officer into duty status and immediately compels the officer to abide by department policy and procedures during that time.

Most cops know this where permits are issued, but for anyone not realizing it, a permit does not provide a 'back door' to avoid policy restrictions by the employer.

To fully carry under my permit and avoid ambiguity, I always left my credentials at home, and trained to never announce 'Police Officer' in that type of use of force issue.

If your policy mandates credentials and or firearms 24/7, a CCW permit is not going to help negotiate policy restrictions.

blueiron
11-11-2011, 13:53
Within State certification guidelines, the CLEO sets a policy for qualifications that at least meet State minimums. Any insurance carrier is going to reinforce this and insist on it as a condition of coverage for that agency. Novelty certification clubs, i.e. CALEA and others, often have minimums stated to comply with their 'membership'. The CLEO can set a higher standards if they are consistent with good LE practices.

More time at the range is nearly always a good thing.

jwhite75
11-11-2011, 14:15
I dont understand on duty weapons being no go...I would want my officers carrying the gun they are most documented to be proficient with. And personally I would want any non duty gun I carried to be well documented from a legal aspect for if and when I had to use it.

A6Gator
11-11-2011, 17:11
I dont understand on duty weapons being no go...I would want my officers carrying the gun they are most documented to be proficient with. And personally I would want any non duty gun I carried to be well documented from a legal aspect for if and when I had to use it.

I think this would be especially critical if it's used in an off-duty occasion. Documented training and continuing certification/requal would take one of the variables out of the situation.

Sampo
11-11-2011, 17:29
@ jwhite75 and A6Gator, its been a constant issue as to why they don't want us carrying our duty weapons off-duty. Here's the kicker, per policy we are always "on-duty"...:upeyes:... Kills me, and we've had some heated debates over that one! Not sure of the method to the madness behind that one. My chief likes to joke and say that that particular section of policy was written by a "Dem"...no offense :winkie:

A6Gator
11-11-2011, 18:04
@ jwhite75 and A6Gator, its been a constant issue as to why they don't want us carrying our duty weapons off-duty. Here's the kicker, per policy we are always "on-duty"...:upeyes:... Kills me, and we've had some heated debates over that one! Not sure of the method to the madness behind that one. My chief likes to joke and say that that particular section of policy was written by a "Dem"...no offense :winkie:

Sounds like it was formulated by the Department of Redundancy Department...:supergrin:

Sampo
11-11-2011, 18:30
Actually the Department of Utterly Moronic Bureaucrats.... "DUMB" ;)

RVER
11-11-2011, 21:06
I did this but there is an important caveat if you elect to do this.

While you can carry under a permit, electing to act under color of authority as a police officer immediately places the officer into duty status and immediately compels the officer to abide by department policy and procedures during that time.

Most cops know this where permits are issued, but for anyone not realizing it, a permit does not provide a 'back door' to avoid policy restrictions by the employer.

To fully carry under my permit and avoid ambiguity, I always left my credentials at home, and trained to never announce 'Police Officer' in that type of use of force issue.

If your policy mandates credentials and or firearms 24/7, a CCW permit is not going to help negotiate policy restrictions.


Absolutely. If you carry on your permit rather than your creds it's best if you do not act in the capacity of, or announce yourself as a LEO. Also don't expect support from your agency.

Hack
11-12-2011, 11:29
Absolutely. If you carry on your permit rather than your creds it's best if you do not act in the capacity of, or announce yourself as a LEO. Also don't expect support from your agency.

Yeah, with us we don't expect any support from our agency. None. That's why I have some insurance. If I could afford a secondary policy I would get one as well, but oh well.

SCSU74
11-12-2011, 11:47
We are required to qualify with any gun we want to carry off duty. The gun must be on the approved list. The qual is the exact same as our duty gun qual. We are allowed to carry our duty gun off duty. By law we can carry whatever we want, by policy it has to be on the list and we have to qual with it. If we dont we get a day off for each violation (not being on approved list, not qualing with it)


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opelwasp
11-13-2011, 01:56
8. Time and safety permitting, the badge and identification card shall be prominently displayed and the officer's identity and authority announced before the officer's weapon is exposed or used. In all cases a verbal announcement of the officer's identity and authority shall be made.

I'm sorry but I find this part confusing.

Scenario: 2230 hours your off duty officer is at a local Stop-n-Rob picking up a soda. He is at the register and Joe dirtbag bursts in the door points a gun at the cashier and said off duty officer and demands the money from the cash drawer.

According to your policy, the officer must make a verbal announcement of his identity and authority prior to exposing or using his weapon? Really???

So if the officer pulls his gun and smokes the guy pointing the gun at him, he is in violation of department policy? It would be better that he just stand there neutered till he gets the opportunity to make his verbal announcement or display his badge and ID card?

Wow

merlynusn
11-13-2011, 08:56
I think the "time and safety permitting" aspect comes into play.

I'm sure it's engineered around the off duty cop shooting someone and the defense is "I didn't know he was a cop, he just shot me for no reason. If I knew he was a cop, I'd have complied."

Cav
11-13-2011, 10:30
I dont have a clue about NC laws, but in Texas we have laws that cover carry of weapons, that touch on Peace Officers, and we have rules for our License, and our Departments have General Orders.

The State law that was posted seems to be only making Law Enforcement "exempt from the restriction of North Carolina's concealed weapons laws".

IMHO that makes sense, it says you can not be arrested for Unlawful Carry, unless under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

It does not give you the right to carry anything, it only stops an arrrest for carry. I am going to guess there are other laws that cover some of the issues brought up. If not, you might want to get some laws/rules passed.

opelwasp
11-13-2011, 15:27
I think the "time and safety permitting" aspect comes into play.

I'm sure it's engineered around the off duty cop shooting someone and the defense is "I didn't know he was a cop, he just shot me for no reason. If I knew he was a cop, I'd have complied."

That sounds great and all, but as it is written and when the lawsuit is levied against the agency, the officer is screwed. They will absolve themselves of liability because the officer did not follow the agencies policy.

The policy is not there to protect nor defend the officer. It is in place to reduce the agencies liability. Remember they don't work for you, you work for them.

Some officers here have gotten the short stick when it comes to policy and the agency not wanting to pay out money, even when the officer was in the right. Hell, some have even been shot on the job and they don't want to pay their medical bills.

The interpretation of the policy is going to be up to the agency lawyers, not the understanding of the policy according to the officer. His understanding doesn't mean beans.

As it is written the "time and safety" portion applies to when to present their badge and ID. According to the policy in all cases a verbal announcement of their identity and authority is mandatory. The term "all cases" does not leave any room for doubt as to when and under what circumstances this is required.

According to this policy, a CCW holder has more freedom to protect himself and others than the sworn officer.

I know it may seem like I'm splitting hairs here, but trust me, they will be splitting those hairs to try to get out of the multimillion dollar civil lawsuit. They will have no problem throwing an officer under the bus to not have to pay. Seen it happen.

Sniperfox
11-15-2011, 00:43
I know several officers in NC that also have CCW permits because department restrictions make off duty carry options limited. One agency that I am quite familiar with would not issue an ID card to it's officers for years to prevent them from carrying out of their jurisdiction. The policy prohibited it, but everyone knows that most cops will respect the ID and badge of another cop who has a weapon, so the chief would prevent them from being able to Identify themselves if approached by another officer who was not familiar with them. He was an a**hole and no one up there misses him since he retired.
I have a CCW permit myself, but I almost never carry anything other than the weapons I am qualified with. I got my permit primarily to make it easier to purchase handguns without having to be limited to 5 purchase permits per year.

Landric
11-15-2011, 13:00
I also have a NC CHP, though I too only have it to make purchasing firearms easier and to add an additional layer of legal protection (in addition to LEOSA) when carrying outside North Carolina. My department policy requires qualification with off-duty weapons we want to carry based on our authority as LEOs. It also says that we can get a CHP, but if we carry based on the CHP with a gun we are not qualified with, then we must abide by the restrictions of the CHP pertaining to where we may carry (i.e. no schools, events were admission is charged, places that serve alcohol, etc.).

I can't state it as a fact, but I think that NC Training and Standards requires qualification with off-duty weapons the same as it does for duty weapons. Assuming that is true, T&S could pull an officer's LE certification who carried a weapon based on his police authority with which he had not qualified. Training and Standards has no sense of humor, so I'm not going to test them on the issue. I only carry guns off-duty with which I have qualified.

Here is a chart from NC in-service training a couple of years ago that reflects where carry is allowed by various people.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c85/Landric/IMG_0379.jpg

Sniperfox
11-15-2011, 15:15
I also have a NC CHP, though I too only have it to make purchasing firearms easier and to add an additional layer of legal protection (in addition to LEOSA) when carrying outside North Carolina. My department policy requires qualification with off-duty weapons we want to carry based on our authority as LEOs. It also says that we can get a CHP, but if we carry based on the CHP with a gun we are not qualified with, then we must abide by the restrictions of the CHP pertaining to where we may carry (i.e. no schools, events were admission is charged, places that serve alcohol, etc.).

I can't state it as a fact, but I think that NC Training and Standards requires qualification with off-duty weapons the same as it does for duty weapons. Assuming that is true, T&S could pull an officer's LE certification who carried a weapon based on his police authority with which he had not qualified. Training and Standards has no sense of humor, so I'm not going to test them on the issue. I only carry guns off-duty with which I have qualified.

Here is a chart from NC in-service training a couple of years ago that reflects where carry is allowed by various people.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c85/Landric/IMG_0379.jpg
You're correct on the qualification requirements for off-duty weapons although that only applies to weapons that you would use as a LEO. If you are in a life and death situation and have to defend yourself a hundred miles out of your jurisdiction, it really wouldn't matter as you were just another citizen defending himself. On the other hand, if you are acting as a LEO in that capacity, you would probably catch some grief from them if things go wrong. Still, you would still be alive to catch that grief. I would use a shovel or anything else that I can get my paws on if necessary to defend myself or my loved ones. It is what it is I suppose. :50cal:

Steve in PA
11-15-2011, 15:19
Sniper fox beat me to the punch. Last night I was at work thinking about this thread and thought, what if I don't have my duty/off-duty weapon? Just like that (NY?) officer in the pizza shop who disarmed the robber and used that weapon. What about the LAPD officers that used the rifles from the gunshop? What if my weapon runs dry and I use another officers weapon (battle field pick up, etc)?

Using a weapon you have not qualified with is not the end of the world.

Sniperfox
11-15-2011, 15:41
Sniper fox beat me to the punch. Last night I was at work thinking about this thread and thought, what if I don't have my duty/off-duty weapon? Just like that (NY?) officer in the pizza shop who disarmed the robber and used that weapon. What about the LAPD officers that used the rifles from the gunshop? What if my weapon runs dry and I use another officers weapon (battle field pick up, etc)?

Using a weapon you have not qualified with is not the end of the world.

Yep. The situation will dictate the course of action. If I came up on a officer down and I only had my .380, I wouldn't hesitate to grab his Glock 22 or M&P .40 cal and do what needs to be done if I saw that it gave me an edge.

DaBigBR
11-15-2011, 16:36
I cannot imagine a situation where using a weapon you are not qualified on will result in any criminal liability, save for a situation where the shooter is so completely unfamiliar with the type of weapon to warrant some sort of "reckless use" charge. Definitely a long shot. Criminal liability, however, is rarely an issue in officer involved shootings. Civil liability and department discipline, on the other hand, are indeed concerns.

RVER
11-15-2011, 17:48
I try not to worry when I find myself not worrying. Should I be worried? :supergrin:

Hack
11-15-2011, 17:50
I try not to worry when I find myself not worrying. Should I be worried? :supergrin:

Nah, I wouldn't worry about it.:whistling: