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Standards for Police Handgun Qualification Courses

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Police agencies range from federal, state, city and county law enforcement, with established standards for handgun qualification courses. State laws require passing a firearms test before graduation from the academy, and then yearly as long as the officer is on the job.

Measuring an Officer's Shooting Skills

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Requirements may be different for on-duty, off-duty and retired officer qualification, but in all cases a minimum standard has been set by the state’s police training board. This standard qualification is intended to be a basic measure of the officer’s shooting skill.

Handgun Standards

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Most state requirements include firing rounds accurately from various distances, within established time limits. The standards are based on the police department‘s location and criminal element. Minimum standards may be enhanced if other job-related skills are necessary.

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Minimum Qualification Standards

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Annual qualification ensures that officers are comfortable with using their weapon in the event of an armed confrontation. Most qualification standards across the US are based on minimum performance levels that indicate the officer is competent to handle his firearm safely.

Important Handgun Qualifications

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Handgun accuracy and timing are necessary in order for police to protect the community, while eliminating dangerous threats to that community. Pistol qualification courses are designed to keep an officer’s minimum competence, on a timed course, shooting a man-size target at specified distances.

About the Author

Working from her home office, Susannah Michaels enjoys researching, compiling information and writing on just about any subject. Her interests are as varied as her work, which includes writing for “Reno-Tahoe Area Guide” and editing for “The World Ahead.” In Dallas she worked for IBM and others as a technical writer. Michaels holds a bachelor's degree in music/English from University of North Texas.

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