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Should off-duty officers be allowed to carry guns in schools? That’s the question asks its readers, as a bill creating a campus carry cop carve-out winds its way through the Iowa legislature. What an odd question!

The Register’s headline presupposes that off-duty police officers’ gun rights are somehow different and distinct from your average, everyday, law-abiding Hawkeye’s.

Different enough that off-duty cops should be able to boldly carry where no non-active law enforcement officer has carried before — save gang bangers, active shooters and teachers/administrators determined to protect their charges by force of arms, however illegally.

Why’s that, then?

“Our stance is that a sworn police officer is always on duty,” said Rick Host, the secretary and treasurer of the Iowa State Police Association. “Technically, if I’m going to a grade school to pick up my grandkids, I can be in violation of the law and can be arrested.”

“Technically?” Is it me or did Officer Host just say “I pity the poor fool who tries to arrest the secretary-treasurer of the Iowa State Police Association for illegally carrying a concealed weapon into a school when he’s picking up his grandkids”?

This despite (because of?) the fact that Iowa punishes simple possession of a firearm on school grounds with five years in prison, a fine ranging from $750 to $7,500, and the permanent loss of gun rights.

Again, there’s an underlying presumption here that cops — on-duty and off — are the only ones qualified to use deadly force against a criminal or active shooter. Like this:

Law enforcement leaders counter [teachers’ worries about guns in schools by saying] that the bill is fixing what they call a “technicality,” and that peace officers and reserve officers are trained professionals who are expected to offer protection if an incident arises, even when they’re off duty.

“The greatest fear, let’s face it, is someone bringing a gun to school and becoming an active shooter. The peace officer is the first line of defense,” said Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek, president of the Iowa State Sheriffs’ & Deputies’ Association.

The legislation has the potential to allow teachers who work part-time as reserve officers to carry a gun. But, more likely, it would be used by off-duty officers or reserve officers when they pick up their children, visit their child’s classrooms, or attend basketball games or teacher conferences.

Oy! Again with the “technicality.” Yet another hint that the bill is designed to make legal what off-duty police officers are already doing illegally. With arrogant nudge-nudge, wink-wink impunity.

As for peace officers being the first line of defense against a school shooter, has law enforcement learned nothing from the Sandy Hook massacre?

Not only did the first officers on the scene fail to immediately, directly and effectively confront the killer, the teachers were the first line of defense. Who also failed to stop the slaughter.

Under the new bill, cop-approved educators-cum-reservists would become a protected class. As much as that galls me, I approve. ANYTHING to arm teachers against a threat of death or grievous bodily harm to themselves or the children in their care.

Here’s what really gets my goat: yet another admission that cops are already breaking the law:

To some degree, that may already be happening. “How I got around it many times, I said: ‘I was on duty all the time, I was on call 24-hours a day,'” said Kinney, who retired as a lieutenant in the Johnson County sheriff’s investigations division. “To me, as long as you’re a certified police officer, a reserve officer, you should be able to carry a concealed weapon wherever you go.”

Police officers should obey the law they’re sworn to enforce. By the same token, they have no more right to keep and bear arms without government infringement — including the type of firearm and place carried — than anyone else.

This cop carve-out is a dishonorable disgrace to the principles and mandates of the U.S. Constitution, which applies to all Americans. An oath to which both the cops and the pols have sworn. In case they forgot.

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  1. The first line of defense at Sandy Hook was Principal Dawn Hochsprung and school psychologist Mary Sherlach. Both were killed. They were the first responders and were completely defenseless. I wonder if she could be asked today if she would rather have had a gun than a cell phone what she might say.

    • I am honestly not sure what she would say. There are so many people in the school system who, even knowing such cases, still refuse to “let any guns in!”

  2. I won’t gripe about this. First LEOs and then maybe in a couple of years they’ll have the epiphany that the rest of us would be fine if we were armed there too. Kind of surprised they didn’t already have the carve out.

    • You’re a glass-is-half-full kind of guy. I’m not.

      You see this as further momentum in the direction of expanding freedom. I see this as further solidifying a Government Class and Subject Class bifurcation of rights.

      • Mostly I just can’t get too excited about something I assumed was there all along. But it does eliminate the ‘you want to let just anybody walk into a school with a g un when we don’t even allow cops to do that?!?’ argument.

    • No. Take it from a Californian. Cop carveouts do NOT lead to greater liberalization for others. Military members might, but cops are unicorns. Don’t take the bait.

    • “First LEOs and then maybe in a couple of years they’ll have the epiphany that the rest of us would be fine if we were armed there too.”

      NRA Rube of the Day Award! You couldn’t possibly be this stupid. Wayne LaPierre has employment for you scrubbing the gold-plated toilets on his private jet.

  3. How are off-duty cops going to respond to active shooter situations at these schools?

    They are too busy talking to each other about their overtime, months remaining until retirement, what they are going to pay off with the lump sum they get when they retire early, etc., etc., etc…

  4. “To me, as long as you’re not a prohibited person, you should be able to carry a concealed weapon wherever you go.”

    There. Fixed it. That’s what he really meant to day. /sarc

    • I was going in a somewhat similar direction.

      “To me, as long as you’re a certified police officer, a reserve officer, you should be able to carry a concealed weapon wherever you go.”

      I figure as long as we are, all of us, members of the militia, or have registered with the selective service, if you want to go that route, then we are all on the reserves. We’re all essentially off duty, but subject to being called up to preserve the security of a free state. Thus, we all should be armed and our right to be so should not be infringed.

      I’m astounded that I’m the first person ever to think of this. I must be a genius! Oh wait.

  5. Ask Utah if the guns in school thing is a blood-in-the-streets issue… I’ll give you a hint. We probably don’t have the best sewer system and we also have little if any issue.

    We are the example of the liberal fallacy being just that… FALSE!

    Allow people to carry. Period, end of story, and so on.

  6. Iowa along with the majority of other states needs to repeal and replace anti law enforcement statutes that prohibit off duty carry in certain locations. Texas law is unequivocally clear that no entity other than the Federal government can ban firearms carried in certain locations by a licensed Texas Peace Officer since there is no legal distinction between on and off duty LEO authority or jurisdiction. The mighty NFL reluctantly but quickly yielded to Texas law after multiple LE organizations and the Texas Attorney General put them on notice that the NFL ban of firearms carried by off duty Texas Peace Officers was unenforceable and meaningless in the Lone Star State.

    • “Iowa along with the majority of other states needs to repeal and replace anti citizen statutes that prohibit citizen carry in certain locations. blah blah blah…”

      Fixed It For You

      • Actually, since I live in Texas it doesn’t have to be “fixed” for me since Texas state law has never had a “carve out” cleverly written by some anti law enforcement liberal to make a distinction between on and off duty LE status therefore providing a legal means to restrict where a Texas Peace Officer deemed to be “off duty” can carry a firearm.

  7. I honestly can’t say the concept bothers me, but I agree that a carve out for some people is dumb and doesn’t, in my opinion, meet the requirements of equality before the law.

    What does kinda piss me off are those quotes where they’re basically admitting to having thumbed their nose at the law. If they’re willing to let that be put in print then I suspect it’s a widely accepted practice.

  8. The Register’s headline presupposes that off-duty police officers’ gun rights are somehow different and distinct from your average, everyday, law-abiding Hawkeye’s.

    That is because too many people only want “desirable” people to have rights.

    “Our stance is that a sworn police officer is always on duty,” said Rick Host, the secretary and treasurer of the Iowa State Police Association.

    And my stance is that I am always on duty to protect myself and my loved ones.

    Law enforcement leaders counter … that peace officers and reserve officers are … expected to offer protection if an incident arises …

    So are parents and school staff!

    “The peace officer is the first line of defense [against an active shooter],” said Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek

    Whoever is already at the school is the first line of defense! Less obvious, Sheriff Pulkrabek’s statement is a tacit admission that unarmed people present no effective defense whatsoever.

    “To me, as long as you’re a certified police officer, a reserve officer, you should be able to carry a concealed weapon wherever you go.”

    And parents and school staff should not be able to carry a concealed handgun wherever they go because … ?????

    Assuming that Iowa passes the law and it is still “illegal” for everyone else to have a concealed handgun at schools, how does that not create a 14th Amendment conflict?

    Better question: why hasn’t anyone anywhere challenged carve-outs (and/or prohibitions on the unwashed masses) on 14th Amendment grounds? Prison guards, prosecutors, and/or judges have carve-outs for gun-free zones in some states and those protected classes cannot even claim “professional” or “advanced training” status … not that those “qualifiers” enable 14th Amendment violations.

    • “That is because too many people only want “desirable” people to have rights.”

      Like the southern Illinois losers that let gun rights hero Rep. Brandon Phelps leave the public transportation ban in his 2013 concealed carry bill? You and the rest of the ISRA clowntards will be waving signs at IGOLD about that, right? Maybe not, that only affects black people in Chicago, and Otis McDonald is dead now anyway. He served his purpose.

      Right now the rednecks are supporting State’s Attorney courthouse carry in Illinois. Because we’re all “on the same side” as law enforcement officials, and eventually in 2067 this will result in all citizens being able to carry in courthouses, because cops and other government employees will support us.

      Get ready to pucker your lips to suck some government ass. IGOLD is only two weeks away. Today, southern Illinois. Tomorrow, the World!

  9. “The peace officer is the first line of defense,” said Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek

    If that’s true, then the peace officer is already stepping over dead bodies of the innocent people who were disarmed by the state.

    My first line of defense is me.

  10. If Farago does anything well it’s coming up with anti law enforcement click bait red meat to toss to the cop haters drawn to this forum.

    Interestingly enough, here in Robert’s adopted home state of Texas, the vast majority of LEO’s are pro gun, supported the Campus Carry legislation which took effect last year enabling lawful concealed carry on College campuses, and are in favor of similar legislation that would allow lawful concealed carry by LTC holders on public school campuses currently deemed “gun free zones”.

    • Sure Ted. Texas is also full of second amendment conditional cops such as yourself that will happily arrest otherwise law-abiding citizens on firearms violations in order to keep their salary, overtime, benefits and pensions flowing.

      • You don’t get it. Pretend it’s still 1972 like the Massad Ayoob fanboys, and the cop will, “look the other way” and “give you a break” when they encounter a “law-abiding” citizen like yourself in violation.

        There were no cameras recording law enforcement in 1972, so this could happen in 2017. If you wish real hard and show the cop your NRA life membership.

    • There should not be two sets of laws in a free country like America. Do you actually believe different people should have different sets of laws applied to them? There is nothing anti-cop believing that everyone should be treated equally. Things like this just add fuel to the fire for the anti-enforcement crowd. Cops should be against things like this if not applied to all citizens.

  11. “Peace officer.” That term no longer applies. Current term is enforcer. Since enforcers are under no obligation legal or otherwise to protect anyone no cut out is warranted. No one is above the law and we should not have two sets of laws. Having two sets of laws one for the ruling class and their enforces is one of the steps toward tyranny. What cut outs enforcers have in states like CA should be abolished as unconstitutional.

  12. Well, it’s no surprise that elements the ministry of indoctrination eduction are fine with empowering other operatives of the Leviathan in ways they won’t extend to citizens.

    To them, we are all elements of the state with the agencies and abilities that derive from our (designated) role in it.

  13. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. 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.


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