House advances BOP gun locker bill

A bill named after a slain Bureau of Prisons employee has passed the House of Representatives and aims to protect BOP employees on their commutes to and from work.

The Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati Correctional Officer Self-Protection Act, introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.V.), calls for the BOP to provide gun lockers for correctional workers.

"Corrections officers in our district brought us their concerns for their safety when they finish their shift and leave the prison for the day,” McKinley said in a statement, adding, “This is a reality our officers deal with daily, and it has serious ramifications," he added.

In 2013, BOP Lieutenant Osvaldo Albarati was shot and killed on his way home from work at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, in retaliation for his investigation into a contraband smuggling group at the prison. The killing was carried out with the complicity of the federal inmates.

“We have been fighting for secure gun lockers since the death of Lieutenant Albarati,” Eric Young, president of the Council of Prison Locals, said, noting that the bill "guarantees that our officers will have a secure place to store their firearms to defend themselves, and will help us ensure that husbands, wives, children, and grandchildren not be left behind because their loved ones were killed commuting to and from their place of work.”

American Federation of Government Employees members are working with the Senate to pass its version of the bill.

Reader comments

Thu, Jan 31, 2019 J. Hansen Lincoln NE.

I've been a Correctional empolye for more than 30 years and have been threatened more time than I can remember. Most of these threats can be ignored, but all it takes is one determined individual to take out an unarmed off duty CO, and I cant even have a crow bar in the trunk of my car in the parking lot when I'm at work.

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