In a State of New York case, People v. Booth, 2008 W.L. 2247068 (N.Y.Co.Ct May 29, 2008) the state court held, in the context of a criminal prosectuion, that Coast Guard boarding officers are qualified LEOs within the meaning of the Law Enforcement Safety Officers Act of 2004, aka LEOSA/H.R. 218. While the decision is from two years ago, the discussion of the application of LEOSA to law enforcement officers is important.
The Coast Guard boarding officer was pulled over in the City of Newburgh, NY on a traffic stop. During the stop, the patrol officer uncovered a firearm (loaded Glock 23 handgun) in the vehicle. The patrol officer arrested the Coast Guard boarding officer because he did not have a license to carry a firearm.
The Booth court found that the Coast Guard boarding officer qualified under LEOSA and was exempt from prosecution, even though he did not have a handgun license (a violation of USCG rules). The court held that "When distilled to the salient facts, the evidence presented . . . showed that the defense was a qualified law enforcement officers who possessed photographic identification issued by the Coast Guard. Accordingly, he is exempt from prosecution."
The Booth opinion can be seen here.Download LEOSA NY Case