LEOSU Armored Car Security Division
LEOSU seeks to represent all armored car driver & messengers working in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut & the New England States, Maryland, Washington DC Capitol Region and throughout the Northeast and/or within our jurisdiction and we welcome you to contact us or join us to find out how we can help you and your co-officers improve your wages, benefits and working conditions under a LEOSU union contract.
Armored car drivers & messengers
As part of their job, armored car operators carry weapons to protect themselves and the valuables they transport. Federal laws serve the needs of these employees by giving them authority to carry handguns under proper conditions. By allowing armored car operators to do their job efficiently and safely, these federal laws also facilitate interstate commerce and, thus, a healthy economy. The armored car industry and law enforcement agencies must understand these important laws and work together to ensure that they govern as intended.
States and Handguns
Regarding concealed-carry permits for handguns, states differ in approach. Some constitute “shall issue” jurisdictions—they must grant the permit unless the applicant becomes disqualified by statute. Other states comprise “may issue” jurisdictions where they, as the issuing authority, make the decision. In additional instances some states require no permit or license to carry a handgun either openly or concealingly.
One of the stricter issuing states, Maryland requires applicants to demonstrate a qualifying need and to undergo a criminal history check. Further, the permit may have limits in its use, and persons must have it when possessing a handgun.
Maryland law prohibits wearing, carrying, or transporting weapons—concealed or open—on the person, in a vehicle, or on public school property. However, statutes provide enumerated exceptions, including use by persons issued a permit; active assignment for law enforcement officers; transport to or from a place of legal purchase, bona fide repair shop, or bona fide place of business; active duty for members of the military; target practice for licensed users; safety-class transportation by bona fide gun collectors; maintenance on persons’ property or business; operation by authorized supervisors during the course of employment within a business establishment; use as a signal or distress pistol; or transport by persons surrendering the weapon to law enforcement authorities.4 In Maryland courts the accused have the burden of proving eligibility for a particular exception.
In 1993 Congress enacted the Armored Car Industry Reciprocity Act (ACIRA). The original act aimed to lift the burden created by states’ diverse requirements for licensing and issuing permits to carry handguns and “allow armored car crew members to travel freely in interstate commerce” while protecting transported valuables. The act provided, “This chapter shall supersede any provision of state law (or the law of any political subdivision of a state) that is inconsistent with this chapter.”
The industry and various states sought changes to the original act. Subsequently, Congress authorized changes that resulted in the Armored Car Reciprocity Amendments of 1998.
a) In general—If an armored car crew member employed by an armored car company—
1) has in effect a license issued by the appropriate state agency (in the state in which such member is primarily employed by such company) to carry a weapon while acting in the services of such company in that state, and such state agency meets the minimum requirements under subsection b) of this section; and
2) has met all other applicable requirements to act as an armored car crew member in the state in which such member is primarily employed by such company, then such crew member shall be entitled to lawfully carry any weapon to which such license relates and function as an armored car crew member in any state while such member is acting in the service of such company.
For both the initial and subsequent license issuance, federal law relies on each state to determine to its own satisfaction that “the crew member has received classroom and range training in weapon safety and marksmanship during the current year from a qualified instructor for each weapon that the crew member will be licensed to carry.” Licensees hold the duty of qualifying on every weapon they will carry each year. Each state must keep detailed records of any armored car crew member issued a permit in that jurisdiction, and those records must include every weapon the crew member received training on and when that instruction occurred.
The statute goes on to mandate “the receipt or possession of a weapon by the crew member would not violate federal law, determined on the basis of a criminal record background check conducted during the current year.” The issuing state must perform a criminal background check initially and for every subsequent renewal by the crew member. Any issuing state that is not a point of contact for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) should contact the FBI directly to ascertain the applicant’s eligibility for the license or permit.
LEOSU Armored Car Security Division