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Thread: Do police carrying off duty violate the equal protection clause of the cosntitution?

  1. #1
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    Do police carrying off duty violate the equal protection clause of the cosntitution?

    Police carry guns.

    Police carry guns off duty and can carry openly in most state off duty.

    In my state, Florida, police carry guns openly on or off duty.

    The law says, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    Police, off duty, have the RIGHT to protect themselves. They have the right to carry. They have the right to defend themselves.

    The Supreme Court said that basic rights like the 2nd, are fundamental. That would imply that Strict scrutiny applies, and that standards is this... "the law is unconstitutional unless it is "narrowly tailored" to serve a "compelling" government interest. In addition, there cannot be a "less restrictive" alternative available to achieve that compelling interest."

    You could argue that allowing police to carry arms while disarming citizens is a narrowly tailored law, but that would fly in the face of the Heller/McDonald decisions because the same argument would apply within the home - and was rejected, not on point but strongly implied by the decisions. My reading in McDonald would imply near enough to on point to make little difference. Plus it was one of the founders greatest fears that the government would be better armed and have a standing army over civilians... both of which are visualized in the police departments and National Guard.

    So, I would ask, if there are any legal eagles in the group, do you think a lawsuit based on equal protection of the laws - on a police officer being allowed to arm himself openly while citizens cannot - violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution?

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    [QUOTE=GIdeon_70;1597410]Police carry guns.

    Police carry guns off duty and can carry openly in most state off duty.

    In my state, Florida, police carry guns openly on or off duty.

    The law says, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act is a FEDERAL Law. Not a state law. So, there is no violation of of the equal protection clause. Any qualified LEO can carry anywhere in the US with some restrictions depending on the state they are in.

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    Regular Member 77zach's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=TFED12;1597418]
    Quote Originally Posted by GIdeon_70 View Post
    The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act is a FEDERAL Law. Not a state law. So, there is no violation of of the equal protection clause. Any qualified LEO can carry anywhere in the US with some restrictions depending on the state they are in.

    Regardless of LEOSA, Fl law allows off duty cops to OC.Agencies can restrict OC but state law does not.
    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? ” -Bastiat

    I don't "need" to openly carry a handgun or own an "assault weapon" any more than Rosa Parks needed a seat on the bus.

  4. #4
    Regular Member hammer6's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=77zach;1597485]
    Quote Originally Posted by TFED12 View Post


    Regardless of LEOSA, Fl law allows off duty cops to OC.Agencies can restrict OC but state law does not.
    agreed. i was at a softball park, and a plain clothes cop walks up with his buddies, badge around his neck, gun on hip. then he puts his badge in his shirt, flips the shirt over his gun (paddle holster- so really not concealed lol) and continues on to watch a softball game.

    there's a lot of cops that play at this park...i actually run the concession stand..
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    77zach

    You are correct. So, the OP's question can be looked at two ways. He may have a point about Florida law violating the constitution. But , Federal Law-LEOSA does not. Agencies can not restrict their officers under LEOSA, but state law can restrict where LEOSA is allowed to carry. LEOSA requires that any officer carrying under LEOSA must still abide by state firearms laws. Florida should just do away with its law and that would solve the constituitonal question and there would be no change in a LEO's status as far as carrying.

    Oh, and I think you quoted the wrong posters. LOL
    Last edited by TFED12; 08-22-2011 at 02:03 PM. Reason: sp

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