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Readers React: Don’t take away retired cops’ concealed guns

To the editor: The Times believes that retired police officers should not be exempt from laws restricting firearms possession at schools. California law allows an honorably retired peace officer to carry a concealed weapon with the approval of the officer’s agency from which he retired. Concealed-carry approval is renewable every five years. (“Making the Gun Free School Zone Act better,” editorial, Aug. 30)

Federal law allows an honorably retired officer to carry a concealed weapon nationwide as long as the officer meets the requirements stated in the law. That means the officer must shoot his weapon every 12 months and meet a minimum standard of performance with a weapon.

What do you want a retired officer to do with his or her weapon when coming within so many feet of a school? Are you suggesting that we leave the weapon in our vehicles, subject to uncontrolled theft? In my opinion, society would be better served by the officer maintaining control of that weapon and not leaving it somewhere unattended.

The presence of armed retired officers in various locations is a good thing.

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David H. Dolson, Valencia

The writer is a retired Los Angeles Police Department captain.

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To the editor: This editorial resonated with me, as I am a retired law enforcement officer with 33 years of service.

Firearms training is like learning to ride a bicycle: The skill acquired becomes second nature and a habit developed over decades of practice. I doubt a Times reporter would forget how to write a story after retirement; similarly, I will not forget how to safely use my weapon.

If children at a school were in danger because of a gunman, what rational person would not want me there to eliminate the threat or contain it until first responders have time to arrive? I would have given my life to protect citizens as an active-duty officer; being retired has not changed this.

Every year I requalify for my concealed gun permit at a police training facility. I am exactly the person you want at a school when the bullets start to fly.

Edward J. Synicky, Anaheim

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