Retired officers forced to sue D.C. for right to carry guns after receiving threats

by Andrea Noble - The Washington Times  |  published on January 8, 2015

It’s been six years since Robert L. Smith retired from his job as a corrections officer at the D.C. Jail, but he says he still receives threats from former inmates he supervised.

He keeps a legally registered handgun inside his Southwest D.C. home, but he would like to be able to carry it to protect himself. As a former jail employee, he said, he should qualify for a permit under federal statutes that allow retired law enforcement officers to carry guns without obtaining state licenses.

But the D.C. Department of Corrections doesn’t see it that way, and the agency has declined to provide the required approvals for his request.

So Mr. Smith and three other retired employees have sued the District over the issue, wading into a debate playing out across the country over whether the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act should be interpreted to allow those who staff the country’s jails and prisons to carry guns outside of work.

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