Trump Signs Order Expanding Federal Prosecutors’ Ability to Carry a Concealed Firearm

Trump Signs Order Expanding Federal Prosecutors’ Ability to Carry a Concealed Firearm
President Donald Trump turns to reporters as he exits the White House to walk toward Marine One on the South Lawn in Washington, on Jan. 12, 2021. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Janita Kan

President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order aimed at enhancing protections for federal judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers.

His order directs the federal government to make it easier for law enforcement officers and federal prosecutors to carry a concealed firearm, and urges Congress to pass legislation to extend the right to carry a concealed firearm to federal judges.

“Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers should not have to choose between public service and subjecting themselves and their families to danger,” Trump said in his order. “My Administration has no higher priorities than preserving the rule of law in our country and protecting the men and women who serve under its flag.”
This comes in response to the tragic shooting of 20-year-old Daniel Anderl, the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas, and her husband Mark Anderl. Daniel was shot several times in the chest and succumbed to his injuries, while Mark was critically injured. The FBI has identified Roy Den Hollander as the primary subject of the shooting but added that he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in upstate New York.

“Judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers’ resiliency in the face of the danger they regularly face is an inspiration for all of us in public service,” the order reads.

Trump’s order aims to remove “any undue obstacle” that prevents current and retired federal law enforcement officers from carrying a concealed gun under federal law.

It also directs acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to propose a regulation within 30 days of the order that gives federal prosecutors the power to possess and carry firearms, but not include law enforcement powers such as making arrests. The regulation must also require prosecutors obtain appropriate training in firearm safety and use as a condition.

Rosen is also ordered to direct the Director of the Marshals Service to prioritize the protection of federal judges and prosecutors; prioritize investigations and prosecution of federal crimes against judges, prosecutors, or law enforcement officers or their family members, if the family member was targeted because of the person’s relation to a judge, prosecutor, or law enforcement officer.

The Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security are also directed to review whether it is feasible to remove or minimize the availability of personally identifiable information appearing in public sources of judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers.

Salas in August had called for greater privacy safeguards for federal judges following the deadly shooting attack on her family.

In a video statement, the judge said that the gunman had compiled a “complete dossier” of personal information of her and her family, including details on where they lived and the church they attended. She said such personal information is currently easily obtainable, and the lack of safeguards to protect it is “unacceptable.”

“Currently, federal judges’ addresses and other information is readily available on the internet. In addition, there are companies that will sell your personal details that can be leveraged for nefarious purposes,” Salas said.

“My son’s death cannot be in vain, which is why I am begging those in power to do something to help my brothers and sisters on the bench.”

The order also requires Rosen develop and propose federal legislation aimed at providing additional protections for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, such as allowing the federal civil servants to use post office box addresses in lieu of home address information, and increased penalties for threatened and actual violence against federal judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers.

Trump’s executive order was signed two days before he is scheduled to leave office. The incoming administration has vowed to implement a restrictive gun control agenda, which has prompted an increased sale of certain firearms ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration over concerns that some weapons may be banned.