What is the LEOSA?
The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) is a United States federal law enacted in 2004, that allows two classes of persons - the "qualified law enforcement officer" and the "qualified retired or separated law enforcement officer" - to carry a concealed firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States or United States Territories, regardless of state or local laws, with certain exceptions. It is sometimes referred to as "HR 218."
If a person meets the criteria, "notwithstanding any provisions of the law of any state or any political subdivision thereof" he or she may carry a concealed firearm in that state or political subdivision. An individual who qualifies under LEOSA does not require a state-issued permit to carry a concealed firearm. The privilege specifically does not extend to machine guns, destructive devices, or silencers.
Although LEOSA preempts state and local laws, there are two exceptions:
2. Any state law that prohibits or restricts the possession of firearms on any state or local government property, installation, building, base, or park.
Retired and Separated Law Enforcement
Former Portage County Officers
Any retired or properly separated sheriff or deputy sheriff from Portage County who wishes to qualify for a Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act (LEOSA) credential under 18 USC §§926B-926C (as amended) must annually certify with the Sheriff's Office and complete a WisDOJ firearms qualification.
Former Non-Portage County Officers
Retired and separated officers from agencies other than the Portage County Sheriff's Office may qualify on a space available basis, and will receive a certificate if they qualify. Portage County cannot issue LEOSA cards to these individuals. They must contact their former agency (or WisDOJ for former out-of-state and former federal law enforcement officers) to obtain a LEOSA card from them.
Next Scheduled Qualification
Click here for a complete list of scheduled Classes and Events at the Sheriff's Office.
- Former Portage County sheriffs and deputy sheriffs: $10.
- Former non-Portage County law enforcement officers: $25
Information and Registration
To ensure available space and adequate staff to properly conduct the course, pre-registration is required. Contact the Portage County Sheriff's Office at (715) 346-1443 for more information or to register.
Click here for more information from the Wisconsin Department of Justice about the LEOSA, and for out-of-state officers applying for an LEOSA qualification card.
All participants must complete the required LEOSA documentation prior to their qualification. The participant instructions, waiver of liability, and LEOSA application packet can be located here. Please carefully follow the instructions.
Your Portage County retired/separated identification card, along with your LEOSA qualification card, must be obtained from the Emergency Management Division of the Sheriff's Office after you (re-)certify/qualify. There is a nominal fee for obtaining these. Remember that your LEOSA qualification card must be renewed annually.
Former non-Portage County law enforcement officers are not eligible to obtain an identification or LEOSA card from us. You will receive a certificate from us, and you must then contact your former employer (if you are from a Wisconsin law enforcement agency) or from the Wisconsin Department of Justice (for former out-of-state law enforcement officers.)