The Law Enforcement Alliance of America was created by the National Rifle Association in 1991 to represent pro-gun police officers willing to defend their right to bear arms, according to Leroy Pyle, an 18-year veteran of the San Jose, California, police department, whom the NRA tapped to launch the group.
At its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the group had about eight employees, two former staffers recalled.
Today the group describes itself as a coalition of thousands of dues-paying law enforcement professionals around the country. The number of members is not publicly verifiable.
“LEAA was established early to give a voice to cops so that when the police chiefs would show up and have a press conference and say, ‘Well, this is what cops think,’ that the public at least have some indication that this is not what all cops think,” said former employee David Bufkin, who now owns a communications firm outside of Washington, D.C.
However, the International Union of Police Associations and the Fraternal Order of Police, two major national police labor groups, disavow any link between the LEAA and their organizations.
“If we have ever agreed with them, it’s been totally coincidental,” said FOP spokesman Jim Pasco.