On July 22, 2004, Congress passed and the President signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (the "Act"), Pub. L. No. 108-277, 118 Stat. 865 (2004), codified at 18 U.S.C. §§ 926B and 926C. With certain limitations and conditions, the Act exempts active and retired "qualified law enforcement officers" ("qualified LEOs") from state laws and local ordinances prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons.
A person is a retired qualified LEO under the Act if he or she:
- retired in good standing from his or her employing agency (other than for reasons of mental instability);
- was authorized to perform the specified law enforcement functions and held a position for which powers of arrest were granted by statute;
- was regularly employed as a law enforcement officer for an aggregate of 15 years or more before his or her retirement, or retired from service with his or her agency (after completing any applicable probationary period of such service) due to a service-connected disability as determined by the agency;
- has a non-forfeitable right to retirement plan benefits of the law enforcement agency;
- during the most recent year, has met state firearms training and qualifications that are the same as the training and qualifications for active duty officers;
- is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance;
- is not prohibited by Federal law from receiving a firearm;
- carries a photo identification issued by the agency; and
- meets an annual qualification requirement.
In order to be authorized under the Act to carry a firearm, a retired qualified LEO from IRS CI must qualify pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 926C(d)(2)(B), and in accordance with state standards for active LEOs. Therefore, in addition to obtaining photographic identification, retired agents must possess a certification issued by the State in which they reside that indicates that they have, within the last year, been tested or otherwise found by the State to meet the standards established by the State for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry a firearm of the same type as the concealed firearm. The IRS CI will not reimburse retired agents for any cost associated with this qualification requirement or provide firearm qualification testing for a personally owned firearm.
With respect to the Act's limitation that a qualified retired LEO "is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance," each former IRS CI employee seeking such qualification annually must meet state standards, if any, regarding alcohol or drug use by law enforcement officers authorized to carry a firearm.
It shall be within IRS CI’s discretion to issue the retired LEO credential called for under the Act. Should IRS CI (1) make a finding that the subject is not qualified, or (2) enter into an agreement in which the subject agrees that he or she is not qualified, the subject shall not be issued the retired LEO credential described above.
Internal Revenue Service, CI will prepare and issue a photographic identification card for qualified retired LEOs. Each such identification card shall include the name of the individual, the individual's photograph, an identification number traceable to the bearer, and the phrase "Retired Special Agent."
If you are a retired Criminal Investigation Special Agent and would like to apply to receive credentials under this act, applications are now being accepted.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Retired Credentials