Officer Firearms Requirements

Title 37 §203.52 (b) (1) (i) states that “a weapon may not be carried on duty for which the officer has not qualified.” Each year, MPOETC establishes and publishes minimum standards for annual firearms qualifications.

Firearms Standards

Beginning in 2020, MPOETC required all certified officers to qualify on a standardized course of fire for the primary duty weapon (handgun). Departments that wish to use a different primary duty weapon course of fire may submit that request and a copy of the proposed course to for approval. Starting in 2022, departments are required to qualify officers using either a previously approved course of fire or the standard MPOETC course listed below.

Current​ Qualification Requirements and Handgun Course (Mandatory)

ATTENTION: Due to continuing issues associated with procuring ammunition, the requirement to use duty ammunition for the first phase of qualification is waived through the end of June 2024​. Departments should document what ammunition they use for qualification but are not required to request approval from MPOETC for this modification. MPOETC will revisit the issue of ammunition availability during the March 2024 Commission Meeting.

On March 14, 2024, the Commission approved the change to firearms qualification ammunition. Departments can now use either duty or practice/range ammunition provided the cartridge is the same bullet weight and manufacturer as their carry/duty ammunition. ​

MPOETC encourages firearms instructors to use the other standardized courses of fire available below when qualifying officers on weapons other than their primary duty weapon (handgun).

Adverse Light Qualification Course of Fire (Optional)
Shotgun Qualification Course of Fire (Optional)
Patrol Rifle Qualification Course of Fire (Optional)

Firearms frequently asked questions

No, the instructions on the website describe how you can submit your course for approval and, if approved, you will be permitted to qualify on your own course instead of the MPOETC course.

Yes, MPOETC establishes a minimum standard for qualification and will not certify (or recertify) an officer that does not meet the minimum standard, but departments can set higher standards as conditions for employment.

No, the requirement to shoot the MPOETC course of fire is related to handguns only.  MPOETC provides example courses of fire for other weapons but does not require that department use them.  Departments must retain copies of the courses of fire they use for any weapons but do not need to get them approved by MPOETC.

No, the regulation requires officers to qualify on any weapons they carry on duty but does not address off-duty carry.  MPOETC provides a course of fire for back-up weapons and for retired officer qualification and this course can be used for off-duty qualifications if desired.  MPOETC does not track qualification of weapons officers don't carry on duty.

At this time, the "indefinite certification" offered by MPOETC is only to conduct qualifications, not to provide firearms training.  At this time MPOETC does not require any continuing education for firearms instructors who hold this certification and therefore cannot offer certification to provide training. CLEFI who also hold current external certifications (i.e. NRA) are able to provide any training, to include new weapons systems on which they are qualified, for which they are certified through the external certification.

MPOETC does not offer certification for firearms instructors to "provide training on new weapon systems" and so that eligibility is determined by whatever agency provides the external certification to the firearms instructor.  For example, a CLEFI who also holds the NRA LE instructor rating for patrol rifle could qualify officers on a new and different patrol rifle, but a CLEFI who holds no external certification should limit themselves to conducting "annual qualifications for law enforcement officers who were previously trained and qualified on a particular weapon system."

Municipal Police Instructors (Firearms)

Municipal Police Instructors (MPI-Firearms) are certified by MPOETC in two-year increments (renewable) and authorized to conduct firearms training at certified municipal police academies. Individuals wishing to be MPI-Firearms certified by MPOETC must be employed by a certified police academy and the certified police academy must submit the request for certification. To learn more, visit Apply for Certification as a Municipal Police Instructor.

Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors

Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors are certified indefinitely by MPOETC to conduct annual qualifications for law enforcement officers. 

View the current Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor List.