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Retired Federal Law Enforcement…Do I need an AZ CCW Permit to Carry Concealed?

Question: I am a retired Supervisory (GS-14)Border Patrol Agent (21+years and in good standing). I carry my retired credentials from the Department of Homeland Security. I have a Border Patrol firearms instructor certification until 2012. I have also just obtained a license as an armed security guard for AZ. Can I carry concealed or do I need the 8 hour course?

Answer: There is bad news and good news.  The bad news is that even with your retired federal officer credentials, you must had an Arizona CCW Permit to carry concealed in Arizona.  The good new is that since you were a Border Patrol Agent for more than 10 years and retired in good standing, you can apply for a CCW permit without having to take the 8 hour training course.  You can submit a letter from your former agency stating that you were retired in good standing after 21 years and that will exempt you from the training requirement.  You must also submit an application for an Arizona CCW and a completed fingerprint card and a $60 processing fee along with your letter.

You could also apply for LEOSA status as well.  LEOSA refers to the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act that exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers from many local and State provisions regarding concealed carry.  Please understand that it does not exempt you from ALL concealed carry laws, but only some.

Under Arizona Law, you can locate a LEOSA qualified instructor and demonstrate proficiency with the firearm you intend to carry in a judgmental shooting evaluation.  The instructor will provide you with an application which must be submitted to the AZ DPS Concealed Weapons Permit Unit with the following documentation:

  • The LEOSA application
  • A letter from your agency stating your credentials (active or retired)
  • A photocopy of your retired credentials issued by your former agency
  • The appropriate application fee (currently $20) in certified funds payable to the AZ DPS.

The LEOSA credentials are good for one year and must be renewed annually.  If allowed to expire the entire process must be repeated for re-certification.

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