< Return To Hearing
The Honorable Orrin Hatch
July 23, 2002
STATEMENT OF SENATOR ORRIN G. HATCH
"Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, S. 2480"
I understand that some have voiced concern that this legislation may encroach on State laws. While our legislation puts the safety of law enforcement officers and the public first, it also respects State laws that permit private persons to prohibit or restrict the possession of concealed weapons on their properties, and that prohibit or restrict the possession of firearms on any State or local government properties, installations, buildings, bases or parks.
The valiant men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting the public are not capable of turning off their sense of duty when they happen to be out of uniform. They and their families accept that this dedication exposes them to risks of retaliation and vengeance at all times. This legislation not only will provide law enforcement officers with a legal means to protect themselves and their families when they travel interstate, it will also provide added security to the American public. By enabling qualified active duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry firearms while off-duty, retired or outside their own jurisdictions, more trained law enforcement officers will be on our streets to enforce the law and to respond to crises.
I look forward to hearing from all of our witnesses who will be testifying to their first-hand knowledge of and experience with law enforcement safety issues. Specifically, I commend Lieutenant Young for his 25 years of service, and his commitment to representing the interests of law enforcement officials across the country. The American public is grateful for law enforcement officials' dedication to protecting our families and communities. That level of dedication doesn't wane when an officer is off-duty or retired, and it only makes sense that qualified officers be allowed to serve the public at all times in a safe manner. I will continue to work with Chairman Leahy and my colleagues in both Houses to ensure that the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act is signed into law this year.
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