Letters to the Editor

Retired officers have trouble with guns | Federal Way letters

I read with interest Mark Knapp’s April 27 column in the Federal Way Mirror (“Retired officers and guns: Federal Way police get it done right”).

As a retired federal GS1811 Special Agent, I am fully aware of the difficulty retired law enforcement officers have getting their required annual qualification. The problem is not limited to federal retirees. It affects state and local law enforcement retirees as well — and is exacerbated if the retiree moves away from the area where he/she served as a law enforcement officer.

While some agencies have implemented procedures for annually qualifying retirees, most have not. I have heard the “liability” excuse thrown about for years, and I agree with your characterization of that excuse as a red herring. Since I retired, I have had difficulty getting an agency-certified firearms instructor to run me through the agency course and sign me off. The unavailability of reliable qualification opportunities obviously undercuts the legislative intent of H.R. 218 and causes real liability issues for retirees.

I know of several retired law enforcement officers who, despite advice to the contrary, carry with their retirement credentials but without an annual certification. The various agencies have had six-plus years to set up policies and procedures, and it’s shameful that so many have chosen the path of least resistance, i.e., to do nothing.

Bob Wojnicz, Federal Way


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