I qualified for the purposes of LEOSA today and have to say it was a pleasant experience for the most part. I drove up to the Rockland County Police Academy and that is the part that was the only par that was not pleasant for the most part! The drive took me an hour and forty minutes, and I am pretty sure it was just about 50 miles. Morning rush hour traffic in the city, then traffic on the highway because there was a construction zone where it went fro 3 lanes to 2. It was like people forgot how to drive once close to that. I am guessing it was stop and go, real slow, for at least 8 to 10 miles due to that one choke point.
Oh well, once at the range, I got the last available parking space, not bad considering that several more shooters showed up after me and probably had to park on the shoulder of the road. I checked in and that was a breeze, handled by 2 nice gentleman, apparently both retired officers. After check in, and a quick photo, there was a brief classroom instruction period and a short quiz of the stuff covered in the classroom. Then it was out to the range where we shot a total of 50 rounds from 3, 7 15 and 25. I only qualified with a semi-auto as i figured if I had tried to qualify with my only revolver, that being a S&W Model 17 in .22LR, they would have frowned heavily upon me and maybe farted in my general direction. I shot a 98 out of a possible 100 meaning I either missed the target of miscounted rounds. Being I wound up with 2 rounds in my pocket, all I can say is: "Whoops, I guess I miscounted how many I had loaded and probably did it twice". Shame on me.
Once done shooting, they took our score and we could take our targets down. immediately after they had scored everyone, they handed out the LEOSA Qualification cards to all those who had passed. I am pretty sure that was everyone in my group. Their was a shoot right before ours, and one shooter was having a hard time getting his card because they did not have a score for him. I think they retrieved his target from the trash to look it over, then gave him his card, because he did not have to shoot again. Each target was marked with the shooter's name among other things.
We were done with the first qual by 1030. If you had another gun, you would have to stay to shoot that one, I figure it would have taken me another half hour or so if I had had a revolver too.
Everyone I dealt with there was very nice, and very professional. I will consider going there again next year when I have to requalify but am hopeful I will find someplace closer to home before then. One treat for me was meeting up with an ex-supervisor of mine, Tom C.; one of the nicer guys I ever worked for in Customs. He is always a gentleman so it was nice to run into him there.
I now have my NY State pistol license, which is now pretty much moot, since I now can carry all of my handguns under its authority, that is except for the fact that I still need my NYS license to carry my revolver. For now, I am limited to carrying my revolver in the state of NY. Until I qualify for LEOSA with a revolver, LEOSA does not allow me to carry under said statute.
I am hopeful that a national carry law will pass the Congress. It would be best for all involved if our elected officials finally realized the meaning of the right to keep and bear arms and did something about it to make sure that all law abiding citizens, and legal resident aliens, are at liberty to exercise said right. I think LEOSA was a small step in that direction but only very small since it applies to such a restricted group as LEOs and retired LEOs. Yet, it does show that Congress is willing to oppose the desire of many liberal leftist states, such as NY, CA and NJ who were not truly in favor of it and which only incessantly seek more and more restrictive gun control laws - even where LEOs are concerned. The thing is, our right to keep and bear arms is not merely one that is for LEOs alone; it is a right of the people, as in each and every one of us and the liberty to exercise that right should be likewise with very few exceptions. (I can see things like not allowing a convicted murderer to ever again exercise that right, nor allowing a psychotic to exercise that right until found to be normal again, etc.) Note that I took advantage of the LEOSA statute and its provisions because I think I would have to be nuts not to do so but that does not mean I do not support a national carry law any less. I am a strong supporter of the right to keep and bear arms for "We the people". I join pro-gun groups with that in mind, I donate with that in mind, I bug the heck out of my elected officials with that in mind and I vote with that in mind.
Now that I have my LEOSA cards, I think I may also apply for one or two state permits. I was thinking of Florida and Utah and maybe Pennsylvania. Any thoughts or recommendations as to which states are the best when it comes to allowing non-residents to obtain a permit and which are best for having reciprocity with the largest number of other states as relative to non-resident permits?
All the best,