Prior to becoming a Uniformed Secret Secret Officer in 1976, I had never shot a gun. In fact, I had never even picked up a gun. I graduated from the academy as a “Distinguished Expert” primarily because I didn’t have bad handgun habits to “unlearn”. I was fortunate to receive my initial training at the the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Brunswick, Georgia and the Secret Service Academy in Beltsville, Maryland. Federal agents must “qualify” with their carry firearms a minimum of 4 times a year.
Since I started working as a law enforcement officer at age 21, I took for granted being armed most of my life. Frankly, I didn’t give much thought to the Second Amendment before I retired. I realize now that was a big mistake. I should have been doing and saying more to support the inalienable rights of all citizens to keep and bear firearms for self and home defense.
The U.S. Senate needs to get off its ass, and pass the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 822), which received overwhelming support in the House last November (passing 272 to 154). This legislation would treat concealed carry licenses much like driver’s licenses, through the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution, and require states to recognize concealed carry permits from other states.
Similar legislation for both retired and active law enforcement officers was passed in 2004 and signed into law. The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a federal law that allows “qualified law enforcement officers” and “qualified retired law enforcement officers” — to carry concealed firearms in any jurisdiction in the United States, regardless of state or local law to the contrary, with certain limited exceptions. H.R. 218, the LEOSA, was co-authored by Law Enforcement Alliance of America Executive Director Jim Fotis.
Joining and participating in one or more of the organizations below both supports gun rights and provides training and education opportunities for responsible firearms owners and potential gun owners.
Most concealed carry permit holders can’t be trained by the Secret Service or any law enforcement agency. In fact, many will only receive a few hours training when obtaining their concealed firearm’s license or permit.
Because of the miracle of the internet there are many training videos and articles available to everyone on the worldwide web. Many are free and some are available at a low cost. I encourage readers to take advantage of the training. You can find many more through Google searches.
Here’s a list of Second Amendment rights organizations that I know about. I’m a member of and support Gun Owners of America , Second Amendment Foundation , and Law Enforcement Alliance of America . These three organizations do more to protect Second Amendment rights than all the other organizations combined, including the National Rifle Association (NRA) .
The NRA is by far the largest gun rights organization with over 4 million members. Since this is an election year, I’ve joined, though I’m not a huge fan of the organization which I think compromises our Second Amendment rights and grossly overpays its leadership . Membership is being offered for $25 , which is a $10 discount off the regular annual membership.