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Firearms FAQ

Question: Does my department have to shoot the MPOETC qualification course if we already have our own course?

Answer: 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.

Question: Can my department establish higher qualification standards than the minimum required by MPOETC?

Answer: 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.

Question: Does my department have to get our rifle, shotgun, or specialty courses of fire approved by MPOETC?

Answer: 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.

Question: Does MPOETC require officers to qualify on weapons they carry off-duty?

Answer: 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.

Question: Is a Certified Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor (certified by MPOETC) restricted to simply conducting qualifications and precluded from instructing law enforcement officers on new weapon systems and/or conducting further advanced or remedial firearms training for officers?

Answer: 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.

Question: What is the definition of a "weapons system"? Does "shotgun" cover all makes and models of shotgun or if a department switches from a pump action Remington 870 to a semi-auto Benelli, do we as a department need to seek out an instructor for that weapon. The same question/example would apply to pistols and rifles.

Answer: 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."