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Special Privileges for Retired Cops

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit thinks special privileges for retired cops might violate the Constitution’s prohibition on titles of nobility. I had never considered that, but I think it’s interesting. Not quite the same argument, but it’s worth noting that while the Silveira case was a disaster in terms of the Second Amendment, they did prevail on the equal protection argument under the 14th Amendment, tossing the exemption for retired cops from California’s assault weapons ban. I’d like to see the courts treat any gun control law which contains exemptions for law enforcement as automatically suspicious. Police carry firearms for the same reason citizens do: self-defense. But we probably have a ways to go there. Maybe Prof. Reynolds’ idea is a good start.

23 Responses to “Special Privileges for Retired Cops”

  1. Andy B. says:

    I would carry that even farther, to deny special privileges for ANY class — including working cops.

    I’m not even too happy with granting additional special privileges and exemptions for carry permit holders, since that creates a constituency that supports the fundamental violation of rights represented by permitting, when people regard their permit as a badge of privileged status.

    • Jack says:

      Especially in places where the State can deem who does and who does not have “need” for said permits.

      • Dave says:

        The difference is that, in a lot of places, off duty cops are never really off duty and still have the ability to make an arrest and intervene. As for the retired cop carry. Image spending 20 or 30 years of dealing with worst element of society, the constant threats from them, and those ones that will actually act on those threats. Those threats are very real, and even a trip to the local mall can get really interesting. Even wonder why do many cops blow out the retirement candles and get in the u-haul to head south? Most guy I know and have worked with live 20+ miles from where they work.

        Contrary to what the FOP will tell you, most cops are not anti-gun.

        • Dave says:

          I hit submit too fast. If you look to the places were the police are only armed on duty, you’ll find the most corrupt police forces in the world – when they’re both on duty and off duty. So you have to ask, is there a balance? If you have off duty cops constantly being beaten and killed, do you think people are going to line up to take the job? If they do line up, what kind of people are they? Despite a few jackwagons in the ranks, the U.S. has some of the most professional, well trained, and ethical police departments in the world – I might put the U.K. officers higher.

        • divemedic says:

          So why does LEOSA carve out a right for a retired cop from Washington state to be able to carry a concealed weapon in Maryland? Are you telling me that a cop from Washington state is more likely to run into someone he arrested 3,000 miles away than a life long resident of the area is to be attacked by a random mugger?
          And the “cops are never off duty” meme carries no water, either. Such a policy would require that cops never drink alcohol, since they are always on duty. Besides, a retired cop from New York who is now living in Florida has no more authority to arrest anyone than any given member of the general public.

    • Thomas says:

      I agree Andy. One of my concerns is that in Texas that are using the conceal carry to get around such things as school zones. It creates a different set of standard for those with the conceal carry permit and those that do no on a right that is in alienable.

  2. Patrick H says:

    Absolutely. Any exemptions for at least off duty and retired law enforcement should be tossed on equal protection grounds.

  3. Merle says:

    I have mixed feelings about this. I think of all the GOOD cops (and their families) who have made a LOT more enemies than I have. I hear what you are saying about a privledged class, but I think those who have put their ass on the line to protect all of us deserve a bit more.

    • Patrick H says:

      Why do they deserve more rights than I do? What makes them special?

      I think they should have the same rights as we do- and that’s constitutional carry throughout the US. But if we can’t carry, they shouldn’t either.

    • divemedic says:

      So a cop from Maine who is on vacation here in Orlando has a higher chance of running into a person that is an enemy than I do, as a resident of the area?
      You can’t say that it is because cops are always on duty, because a cop from Maine has no more power to arrest anyone in Florida than I do.

  4. Old NFO says:

    If you remember, this was originally a JOINT bill for both LEOs and CCW holders, and it was split at the last minute with a ‘promise’ the CCW holders would be taken care of later. And we’re STILL waiting… So yeah, dump their exemptions until we get equal treatment!

    • harp1034 says:

      I knew it was a ruse. There was never any intention of taking care of the rest of us. I’ve got mine, you get yours.

  5. Carl from Chicago says:

    I greatly admire our institutions of law enforcement, and greatly respect most LEOs. I have many friends who are LEOs. that said, I have LONG insisted that LEOs must be subject to the same laws as everyone else. LEOs are, after all, civilians.

    • Andy B. says:

      When George Orwell wrote, “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” even when I was in high school I was convinced he wasn’t lampooning just the Soviet Union. Today I am more convinced than ever.

  6. dustydog says:

    House Republicans should pass a law: a valid voter registration entitles the holder to all rights, privileges and immunities granted to retired police, judges or politicians.

    • Merle says:

      Fat chance of this ever happening!!!

      • divemedic says:

        Exactly. The Republicans enjoy the privileges and powers of nobility just as much as the Democrats do.

        • Andy B. says:

          Something occurred to me recently that was extremely simple, yet an epiphany: The government of the United States is no longer the system described in the constitution. The government of the United States is the political parties — period. They may manipulate and maneuver around the mechanisms defined in the constitution, and use them for tools, but basically it is the political parties from start to finish that set policy, tell us what we want, and tell us what we’re going to get. Everything is conducted for their benefit, and the expansion of their power and that of their constituencies. Every branch of government including the courts is under their control.

          Speaking of nobility. . .

          • Merle says:

            Yep, and have you noticed that Congress seldom has to live under the rules they impose on the rest of us? And don’t get me started on their “retirement” benefits!!!

  7. Brad says:

    “Police carry firearms for the same reason citizens do: self-defense. But we probably have a ways to go there. Maybe Prof. Reynolds’ idea is a good start.”

    Close the cop-loophole on gun regulation!

    Long has it irritated me how so many cops or at least their leaders have enabled the progress of unconstitutional gun-control laws, all the while carefully exempting themselves from the penalties of these laws. Time for them to pay.

    I think the anti-gunners are so crazy, and so powerful in deep-blue states like California that ‘closing the cop-loophole’ would actually work in promoting legislation that would remove exemptions police currently enjoy from many anti-gun laws. For example, the so-called “safe handgun” law which police are exempt from here in Commiefornia.

    Why should police be allowed to use “unsafe” handguns? Why do police need “murderous assault weapons”? Why do police need “high capacity” magazines? Strip it all away!

  8. Thomas says:

    :( what about the special privileges for military personal? If it was such a great idea for the police, then it will do wonders when our military men and women become involved. !!!! ( for those that don’t know, !!!! is the internet road sign for sarcasm ^^ )

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