Basic Firearms Training Course Information

Course 1
Basic Firearms Training Program


The County Probation and Parole Officers’ Firearm Education and Training Commission Basic Firearms Training Program for county probation and parole officers is designed to satisfy the requirements of Pennsylvania 61 P.S.§ 309.1. The program is presented over seven days, and is approximately 49 hours in length. Included in the program are topics on officer’s authority, jurisdiction and use of force, firearm safety, introduction to firearms, and shooting fundamentals. The major portion of the program is hands-on skills development on the firing range, providing a minimum of 31 hours of instruction.

Officers attending the program must successfully complete a written examination on the classroom portion of the training, and successfully shoot the Commission’s Qualification Course of Fire. The written, 70-question examination is administered on the last day of classroom training, and officers must achieve a minimum score of 80% to continue in the program.

On the final day of the range portion of the training, officers must achieve the minimum qualifying score of 75% on the Qualification Course of Fire. Officers will be given a second attempt at the Qualification Course of Fire, if required. Daily range activity reports are completed by range instructors at the conclusion of each day on the firearms range for each officer. These daily evaluations detail the officer’s progress and are the basis for the firearms instructor’s final recommendation to certify each officer.

In addition to the classroom instruction and range activities students are also required to complete several short homework assignments, which reinforce or enhance the information presented in class or on the firearms range.

The Student Workbook is designed to assist the student in organizing and acquiring the information presented during training. The information contained in the workbook is intended to briefly summarize the information presented in class. The workbook is not intended to replace the student’s attention to and participation in class activities, nor is it intended to replace the student’s own notes. The workbook also contains a description of student equipment requirements, a description of the Qualification Course of Fire, the homework assignments, and appendices with material for reference or further reading.

Students should remain aware of the fact that the program is a basic course of instruction on firearms, and the qualification standards are those judged to be the minimum necessary for a county probation or parole officer to carry a firearm in the course of their duties. The program is not a tactical firearms training course. Officers completing this course are strongly recommended to continue their training beyond the basic level through programs provided by their employer, on their own, or with other agencies which include tactical skills development, and practical judgment and decision-making skills.

The program is provided for all counties in the Commonwealth and, as such, may not directly reflect the policies, practices and procedures of any one agency or county. Should any conflicts arise between the procedures, practices, and policies suggested, recommended, or employed as examples in this training or interpretations of law, and those of the officer’s employing agency or county or court, the officer is directed to consult with his or her Chief Probation Officer, other agency administrators, county solicitor, or President Judge.