POST Rule on Firearms Requalification
Effective January 1, 2006, each person employed or appointed as a peace officer shall satisfactorily complete during each calendar year annual firearms training with their duty weapon and attend a minimum of one (1) hour of training regarding their agency's policy on the use of deadly force. This training is now mandated in accordance with POST rule 464-5-.03.1 titled "Annual Firearms Training." A peace officer as used in this rule is clearly identified in O.C.G.A. 35-8-2 (8). The training required in this rule is now a part of an officer's 20 hour annual training requirement as identified in O.C.G.A. 35-8-21. The failure to comply with this rule shall result in an officer's loss of power of arrest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are some frequently asked questions which should address any questions that officers and agencies may have:
What is this new POST rule about firearms requalification?
Simply stated, if you are an actively employed peace officer then you are now required to requalify with your duty weapon annually. A complete copy of the Rule may be found here.
What is the minimum course of fire that must be shot?
POST sets minimum standards for training. Agencies are encouraged to exceed those minimum standards (O.C.G.A. 35-8-16.) The minimum course of fire is the Georgia Semi- Auto Pistol Qualification Course (GSAC) which is the standard established in the basic law enforcement training course. A copy of the course of fire may be found at: pdf_file\gsac05.pdf
Must an agency shoot the Georgia Semi-Auto Pistol Qualification Course as their requalification course of fire?
No, as long as an agency's course of fire meets or exceeds the standard established by this rule then they are in compliance. Some of those agencies who qualify several times a year have indicated that they will shoot the GSAC at one of the qualification times and other courses of fire the rest of the year.
How do I know if my agency's course of fire meets or exceeds the state standard?
You may submit your agency's course of fire to the Georgia Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (GALEFI) for an independent evaluation. They will review your course of fire and provide you with written notice regarding their determination. They may be contacted at: www.galefi.com.
What happens if an officer does not qualify?
Each agency should consider its exposure to liability if it does not act to remove an officer who has failed to qualify from from active service until such time as compliance with this requirement has been demonstrated. The loss of the officer's power of arrest does not, however, occur unless the officer fails to comply with the requirements of this rule by December 31 of the current calendar year. POST DOES NOT recommend that any agency permit an officer who is unable to meet the requirement of this Rule be allowed to carry a firearm until such time as they have demonstrated compliance with the requirements of this Rule.
The new rule states that the officer must qualify using the standard set forth in the basic training course for which the officer was initially trained and is currently employed. Does this mean that if the officer attended a basic course in the 1970s and course of fire was 50 rounds and the standard was 70% that this officer must meet the original standard that they were originally trained?
The standard that every officer must meet is the current minimum standard set forth in the basic training course for which the officer is currently employed.
When a POST Certified Peace Officer is physically challenged and cannot meet this requirement, what is needed to exempt the officer of this rule?
O.C.G.A. 35-8-21 provides that the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and training Council may in its discretion grant an officer a waiver of the requirement of annual training set forth in that Code Section. Please be aware, however, that if an officer has a medical condition that prohibits him or her from performing the duties of a peace officer and this condition is expected to last more than 180 days, POST rule 464-3-.09 may require POST Council to take action against the officer's certification(s) as set out in the relevant law or rules. A copy of the aforementioned law and/or rule may be found on the POST website.
What are the appropriate course codes that an instructor should use to document this training?
UFR00F = Firearms Requalification (required to be taught by a POST certified Firearms Instructor
IFM22F = Use of Deadly Force (if provided by a POST certified Firearms Instructor)
IFM22G = Use of Deadly Force (if provided by a POST certified General Instructor)
- IFR02F = Firearms Requalification and Use of Deadly Force (required to be taught by a POST certified Firearms instructor)
If both courses are taught on the same day, you may wish to use the IFR02F. If you have different students for each class, you may wish to use individual course codes.
How many hours of credit should be granted for each class?
Only the number of clock hours of training provided to each student. There is no set amount of hours assigned to each topic (for example: firearms requalification ' 4 hours) The minimum required established by the Rule is one hour for firearms requalification and one hour for use of deadly force.
Does this rule apply to officers who are not employed?
No. This rule only requires those actively employed as a peace officer to comply, on an annual basis.
So how does this Rule affect retired officers in regard to the "Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004" or H.R. 218?
With the implementation of this rule, retired officers may elect to comply with the provisions of POST rule 464-5-.03.1 and thus meet the provisions of USC 18-44-926C (c)(5) which states that "during the most recent 12-month period, has met, at the expense of the individual, the State's standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms." Please note that there are other provisions that a retired officer must meet in order to comply with this code section, such as: years of service, identification, etc. Since H.R. 218 is federal legislation, it is not an issue directly addressed by POST rule 464-5-.03.1. Thus, individuals seeking authorization under that provision of federal law should acquaint themselves with the law and its requirements.
How does a retired officer prove compliance with POST rule 464-5-.03.1?
POST has developed a form that should be completed by a POST certified firearms instructor documenting successful completion of the classroom training and firearms requalification. The retired officer must then complete the remaining portion of the form and submit it to POST along with the processing fee. Once received, POST will issue a certificate demonstrating the retired officer's with 18 USC 926C(c)(5).
NOTE: Nothing POST does or can do fulfills 926C(d) provisions; those are for the agency from which the officer retired to deal with, not POST.
The application for this certificate is available on the POST website by clicking here.
Who may provide the training and qualification for active and/or retired peace officers?
Any POST certified firearms instructor may conduct the firearms requalification. The training related to the agency's policy on "Use of Deadly Force"may be provided by a POST certified "General" instructor or firearms instructor.
Can a firearms instructor requalify themselves?
No. It would be unethical for an instructor to score themselves in a demonstration of proficiency such as firearms. Firearms instructors should do one of the following:
get requalified by another firearms instructor in the area,
get requalified when another agency conducts firearms qualifications,
requalify with a regional or local academy during firearms training in the basic mandate course, or
contact the Public Safety Training Center for requalification options.