South Florida law enforcement agencies start providing courses for retired officers to qualify for national permit
The 20 men -- retirees from 37 to 72 -- came out to the shooting range in Sunrise's Markham Park on Saturday to qualify to carry a handgun almost anywhere in the country.
The federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 allows current and retired law enforcement officers to do so as long as they remain proficient in using their weapon.
This is the first time BSO has offered a course allowing retirees to qualify.
Another class is planned for August, with additional courses expected in the future depending on demand, said BSO spokesman Jim Leljedal.
Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties offer similar programs.
In Broward, a $75 fee covers the cost of ammunition, targets, safety equipment and instructors. BSO provides the bullets to make sure no one uses old ammo.
To pass the course, participants had to hit the target 32 of 40 times, which Leljedal said is the standard for all current Florida law enforcement officers.
On Saturday, the retired officers shot at distances of five, seven and 15 yards under the supervision of BSO instructors. . . .
Amazingly to me, however, there is still opposition to retired police officers carrying guns. One example is from the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale:
You're either a cop or you're not. If you retired, or found some other line of work, you're not a badge-carrying law enforcement officer anymore.
Unfortunately, Congress has approved a national program to allow retired law enforcement officers to complete a shooting course for a concealed weapons permit that is recognized nationwide. Doubly unfortunate, Florida has signed on by offering a course for ex-officers to take and receive the permit. . . .