POSTC: General Notice 03-3 Revised Review Firearms Course Content



To:                 Chief Law Enforcement Officers
                      Training Officers
                      Protective Services
                      Resident Troopers

From:              Susan E. Rainville
                      Acting Executive Director

Date:              September 30, 2003

Subject:          Revised Review Firearms Course Content
                     General Notice 97-01 Revision and Reissue

At its meeting on September 11, 2003 the Police Officers Standards and Training Council addressed a question regarding the yearly firearms requirement as written in General Notice 97-01. Legal counsel has advised the Council that its policy of requiring yearly firearms qualification is in conflict with state statute that allows three years to complete required training. Due to this opinion agencies will no longer have to complete the newly created “Yearly Firearms Qualifications” scantron bubble sheet. When officers are to be recertified, the only sheet required will be the one issued for recertification on the agency's letterhead.

The Council however highly recommends that all agencies follow yearly firearms training as outlined in the attached reissued and revised General Notice 97-01. All Chiefs of Police and Resident Troopers should check with their legal counsel on liability issues if they choose not to follow the P.O.S.T. Council recommendations.


Revised and Reissued 10/01/03

To:                 Chief Law Enforcement Officers
                      Protective Services
                      Resident Troopers
                      Training Officers

From:              Susan E. Rainville
                      Acting Executive Director

Date:               September 30, 2003

Subject:           Revised Review Firearms Course Content

The Police Officer Standards and Training Council has amended and updated its "REVIEW FIREARMS COURSE CONTENT 8 HOURS MINIMUM" to change the minimum number of hours from 8 to 9 hours and to “HIGHLY RECOMMEND” that those 9 hours of mandated firearms review training be received by each certified officer in 3-hour periods each year of each review training cycle rather than in one 9-hour period every three years.

For more specific information refer to the following "RECOMMENDED REVIEW FIREARMS COURSE CONTENT 9 HOURS MINIMUM."



This portion should include a minimum of ONE (1) hour of instruction, each year, encompassing some or all of:

        1.   Use of Deadly Physical Force;
        2.   Statute Refresher;
        3.   Department Policy;
        4.   Recent Civil Liability Cases;
        5.   Shooting Decision Situations;
        6.   Low/Dim Light Firing;
        7.   Effects of Stress;
        8.   Survival Tactics;
        9.   Review of Fundamentals of Firearms and Range Safety;
        10. Other Pertinent Issues.


The practical portion of the course should meet for a minimum of six (6) hours over the course of the three (3) year review training period. Qualification with the officer’s approved duty sidearm should occur at least once each year and each successful qualification will be based on a minimum performance standard of 80% in a course which meets the requirements set fourth below. Annual firearms qualifications exercises should involve at least TWO (2) hours of training on a firearms range.

Minimum requirements include:

1. At least 60 rounds must be fired double-action, for revolvers: for semi-automatic handguns, the action to be manipulated based on the recommendation of the manufacturer and/or the dictates of the weapon and/or department.
2. At least 50% of these rounds must be fired from the 7 yard line or closer. 
3. At least 30% of these rounds must be fired from between the 7 and 15 yard lines. 
4. At least 20% of these rounds must be fired from a distance in excess of the 15 yard line. 
5. The “P.O.S.T. CM-5” target must be used for all qualification relays.


Each department is required to keep on file a copy of its review firearms training curriculum. This copy should include classroom lesson plans and a detailed description of the actual practical course utilized. This copy must be made available in conjunction with the auditing procedures outlined in the review training mandate.


1. Some of the rounds fired should be the same as those the officer carries during his/her normal tour of duty. 
2. The proper use of available cover and concealment should be stressed. 
3. Participants should be exposed to both multiple adversary and good/bad situations. 
4. Reasonable time limits should be utilized for qualification relay(s) recognizing variables such as type of weapon and reloading devices. 
5. The concept of instinctive (survival) shooting should be utilized where practical. 
6. Adequate range safety principles and procedures should be adhered to during all range activities.