May 4, 2011

Bill to allow community corrections officers to carry firearms off-duty signed into law

Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday (May 3) signed into law ESHB 1041, the Federation-backed bill that aims to protect Community Corrections officers when they are off-duty.

It allows CCOs with proper training and with some exceptions to carry firearms when they’re off the clock. It’s to protect themselves from offenders who may recognize them and want to do them or their loved ones harm.

On hand for the bill signing were the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tami Green of the 28th District, Tacoma Local 53 member and CCO Don Feist and Federation Lobbyist Matt Zuvich.

With Gregoire for signing of ESHB 1041, from left, Green, Feist and Zuvich.

The signing of ESHB 1041 appropriately comes during National Correctional Employees Week.

“These men and women are doing an important job, often under dangerous conditions, in our criminal justice system,” AFSCME President Gerald McEntee said. “They safeguard the public from those who would do us harm.

“Too often, those in government ignore the voice and experience of these workers, but our members refuse to be silent….

“We salute their brave and dedicated service. We will continue to fight for them and the valuable work they do for all of us.”

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