Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
2/28/2021

Part IX. Firearms Training Requirements and Exemptions

6VAC20-174-340. General firearms training requirements.

A. Firearms training endorsement is required for all private security services business personnel who carry or have immediate access to a firearm while on duty. Each person who carries or has immediate access to a firearm while on duty shall qualify with each type of action and caliber of firearm to which he has access.

B. Each person registered as armored car personnel, security canine handler, detector canine handler, private investigator, alarm respondent, locksmith, central station dispatcher, electronic security sales representative, electronic security technician, or electronic security technician's assistant must complete entry-level handgun training in order to apply for a firearms training endorsement.

C. Each person applying for a registration as an armed security officer/courier must complete security officer handgun training in order to apply for a firearms training endorsement.

D. Each person registered as a personal protection specialist must complete entry-level or armed security officer handgun training and advanced handgun training in order to apply for a firearms training endorsement.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-350. Prior firearms training exemption.

Persons having previous department-approved firearms training may be authorized credit for such training that meets or exceeds the compulsory minimum training standards for private security services business personnel, provided such training has been completed within the 12 months preceding the date of application. Official documentation of the following must accompany the application for partial training credit:

1. Completion of department-approved firearms training; and

2. Qualification at a Virginia criminal justice agency, academy, or correctional department.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-360. Entry-level handgun training.

Handgun classroom training.

1. The entry-level handgun classroom training will include but not be limited to the following:

a. Practical handgun handling

(1) Identification of handgun parts

(2) Draw

(3) Reholstering

(4) Ready position

(5) Loading

(6) Administrative loading

(7) Tactical reloading

(8) Rapid reloading

(9) Unloading

(10) Malfunctions

(11) Immediate actions procedures

(12) Remedial action

(13) Proper care and maintenance

(14) Firearms retention

(15) Ammunition identification and management

(16) Range safety

b. Fundamentals of marksmanship

(1) Grip

(2) Stance (position)

(3) Sight alignment

(4) Sight picture

(5) Trigger control

(6) Breathing

(7) Follow through

c. Dim light/low light/reduced light practice and familiarization

(1) Identification of target/threat/background

(2) Unaided training

(3) Aided training

(4) Flashlight use

(5) Reloading during low light conditions

(6) Malfunctions

(7) Range safety

d. Use of force

(1) Deadly force

(2) Justifiable deadly force

e. Liability

(1) Criminal liability

(2) Civil liability

(3) Negligent discharge prevention

f. Judgmental shooting: judgmental shooting scenarios will be conducted in the classroom or range

g. Lead exposure

Total hours (excluding written examination) - 16 hours

2. Written examination required.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-370. Security officer handgun training.

Handgun classroom training.

1. The security officer handgun classroom training will include but not be limited to the following:

a. Practical handgun handling

(1) Identification of handgun parts

(2) Draw

(3) Reholstering

(4) Ready position

(5) Loading

(6) Administrative loading

(7) Tactical reloading

(8) Rapid reloading

(9) Unloading

(10) Malfunctions

(11) Immediate actions procedures

(12) Remedial action

(13) Proper care and maintenance

(14) Firearms retention

(15) Ammunition identification and management

(16) Range safety

(17) Tactical considerations

(18) Movement

(19) Cover and concealment

b. Fundamentals of marksmanship

(1) Grip

(2) Stance (position)

(3) Sight alignment

(4) Sight picture

(5) Trigger control

(6) Breathing

(7) Follow through

c. Dim light/low light/reduced light practice and familiarization

(1) Identification of target/threat/background

(2) Unaided training

(3) Aided training

(4) Flashlight use

(5) Reloading during low light conditions

(6) Malfunctions

(7) Range safety

(8) Tactical considerations

(9) Movement

(10) Cover and concealment

(11) Multiple target drills

d. Use of force

(1) Deadly force

(2) Justifiable deadly force

e. Liability

(1) Criminal liability

(2) Civil liability

(3) Negligent discharge prevention

f. Judgmental shooting: judgmental shooting scenarios will be conducted in the classroom or range

(1) Shoot/don't shoot judgment

(2) Turn and fire drills

(3) Failure to stop drills

(4) Multiple target drills

g. Lead exposure

Total hours (excluding written examination) - 24 hours

2. Written examination required.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-380. Entry-level and security officer handgun range qualification.

A. Range qualification (no minimum hours). The purpose of the range qualification course is to provide practical firearms training and qualification to individuals desiring to become armed private security services business personnel.

1. Prior to the date of range training, it will be the responsibility of the school director to ensure that all students are informed of the proper attire and equipment to be worn for the firing range portion of the training. Equipment needed: handgun, belt with directional draw holster (i.e., one that is worn on the same side of the body as the shooting hand), two speed loaders or three magazines, ammunition (100 rounds).

2. Each student will fire a minimum of 22 rounds of factory loaded ammunition for familiarization prior to qualification. (There is no course of fire and it is not scored; it is at the firearms instructor's discretion on how the round will be utilized.)

3. Course shall be fired double action or double/single action, except for single action semi-automatic handguns.

4. All qualifications shall be conducted using a B-27 silhouette target or the FBI "Q" target. Alternate targets may be utilized with prior approval by the department.

5. With prior approval of the department, a reasonable modification of the firearms course may be approved to accommodate qualification on indoor ranges.

6. For those utilizing semi-automatic firearms, it is not necessary to reload after every stage so long as there are at least three tactical reloads during the course of fire.

7. A certified firearms instructor must be present on the range directly controlling the firing line during all phases of firearms training. There shall be a minimum of one certified firearms instructor per five shooters on the line.

8. The range qualification of individuals shall be scored as follows:

a. B27 target: (use indicated K-value) 7, 8, 9, 10 X rings - value 5 points, other hits on silhouette - value 0 points: divide points scored by maximum possible score to obtain decimal and convert to percentage, (e.g., 225 ÷ 300 =.75 = 75%).

b. FBI Q target: all hits inside the bottle - value 5 points; hits outside the bottle - value 0 points.

9. Although not scored, each student is required to complete the low light range/night time practice as outlined in subsection C of this section and the familiarization course of fire.

B. Course: Virginia private security course of fire for handguns. The course of fire shall be conducted using, at a minimum, the requirements set forth in this subsection. Strong/weak hand refers to the primary hand used in firing the firearm. The opposite hand may be used for support. The course of fire shall be conducted in the following phases:

1. Phase 1: 3 yards, utilizing weaver, modified weaver, or isosceles stance, 18 rounds:

a. Load 6 rounds and holster loaded firearm

b. On command, draw and fire 2 rounds (3 seconds), repeat 2 times

c. Load 6 rounds and holster loaded firearm

d. On command, draw and fire 6 rounds with strong hand

e. Unload, reload 6 rounds and fire 6 rounds with weak hand (25 seconds)

2. Phase 2: 7 yards, utilizing weaver, modified weaver or isosceles stance, 24 rounds:

a. Load 6 rounds and holster loaded firearm

b. On command, draw and fire 1 round (2 seconds), repeat 5 times

c. Load 6 rounds and holster loaded firearm

d. On command, draw and fire 2 rounds (3 seconds), repeat 2 times

e. Load 6 rounds and holster loaded firearm

f. On command, draw and fire 6 rounds, reload 6 rounds, fire 6 rounds (30 seconds)

3. Phase 3: 15 yards, 70 seconds, 18 rounds:

a. Load 6 rounds and holster loaded firearm

b. On command, assume kneeling position, draw and fire 6 rounds with strong hand

c. Assume standing position, unload, reload and fire 6 rounds from weak-hand barricade position

d. Unload, reload and fire 6 rounds from strong-hand barricade position (kneeling position may be fired using barricade position) (70 seconds)

C. Low light course: Virginia private security low light familiarization course of fire for handguns. The course of fire shall be conducted using, at a minimum, the requirements set forth in this subsection. Equipment needed: belt with directional draw holster, handgun, two speed loaders or three magazines, range ammunition (18 rounds). Equipment provided by instructor: A range that can simulate low light or a pair of welders goggles for each student that simulates low light. Strong/weak hand refers to the primary hand used in firing the firearm. The opposite hand may be used for support. The course of fire shall be conducted in the following phases:

1. Phase 1: 3 yards, utilizing weaver or isosceles stance, 6 rounds:

a. Load 6 rounds and come to ready

b. On command, fire 2 rounds (3 seconds) repeat 2 times (30 seconds)

2. Phase 2: 7 yards, utilizing weaver or isosceles stance, 12 rounds:

a. Load 6 rounds and come to ready

b. On command, fire 2 rounds (5 seconds), repeat 2 times

c. Load 6 rounds and come to ready

d. On command, draw and fire 3 rounds (6 seconds), and repeat

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-390. Entry-level shotgun training and range qualification.

A. Shotgun classroom training. Individual must first successfully complete entry-level or security officer handgun training. The entry-level shotgun classroom instruction will emphasize but not be limited to:

1. Shotgun handling techniques

a. Identification of shotgun parts

b. Slings – traditional sling, single point sling, 3 point sling

c. Cruiser carry conditions

d. Cruiser safe

e. Chambering

f. Reloading

g. Transition from handgun to shotgun/shotgun to handgun (if applicable)

h. Malfunctions

(1) Immediate actions procedures

(2) Remedial action

i. Proper care and maintenance

j. Shotgun retention

k. Ammunition management and identification

l. Range safety

m. Dim light/low light

2. Fundamentals of shotgun marksmanship

a. Grip

b. Stance (position)

c. Sight alignment

d. Sight picture

e. Trigger control

f. Breathing

g. Follow through

3. Written examination

Total hours (excluding examination) - 3 hours

B. Range qualification (no minimum hours). The purpose of the range firing course is to provide practical shotgun training and qualification to those individuals who carry or have immediate access to a shotgun in the performance of their duties.

1. Familiarization: Prior to the qualification course, all shooters are required to fire a familiarization exercise consisting of 5 rounds using 12 gauge, double aught "00" buckshot or rifle slug ammunition and 6 rounds minimum of handgun rounds. The exercise shall include transition drills from handgun to shotgun and shotgun to handgun. This exercise is not scored and the distance is at the discretion of the instructor.

2. Fire 5 rounds of shotgun rounds (buckshot, rifled slugs, or both, if issued) on a daylight course using B27 single/multiple targets with 70% accuracy.

C. Course: Virginia private security course of fire for shotguns.

Distance

Position

No. Rounds

Target

Time

Combat load & fire 15 Yds.

Standing/Shoulder

3

B-27 Silhouette

20 sec.

Combat load & fire 25 Yds.

Kneeling/Shoulder

2

B-27 Silhouette

15 sec.

D. A certified firearms instructor must be present on the range directly controlling the firing line during all phases of firearms range training. There shall be a minimum of one certified firearms instructor per five shooters on the line.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-400. Advanced handgun training and range qualification.

A. The entry level handgun training is a prerequisite for taking the advanced handgun training.

B. Advanced handgun classroom training.

1. The advanced handgun training will include but not be limited to:

a. Firearms safety;

b. Civil and criminal liability;

c. Concealed carry law and authority;

d. Function of firearms in close protection operations;

e. Deployment of firearms in close protection operations;

f. Use of force;

g. Principles of advanced marksmanship; and

h. Decision-making for the personal protection specialist.

Total hours (excluding written examination) - 14 hours

2. Written examination required.

C. Range qualification (no minimum hours). The purpose of this course of fire is to assess and improve the tactical, protection-related shooting skills for personal protection specialist candidates seeking certification to be armed. This course entails five increasingly challenging stages of advanced firearms exercises with a 92% score required for qualification.

1. The advanced handgun course of fire is comprised of the following exercises:

a. Shoot/don't shoot judgment;

b. Turn and fire drills;

c. Failure to stop drills;

d. Multiple target drills; and

e. Judgmental shooting.

2. For all range practicals (Stage 2 through stage 4):

a. The student will fire at a man-size silhouette target with the following requirements:

(1) 4-inch diameter circle in head;

(2) 8-inch diameter circle in chest/body area; and

(3) Center points of circles - 13-1/2 inches apart.

b. All rounds fired must hit within these circles.

c. Minimum 92% qualification score = 25 rounds total requiring 23 hits. With regard to scoring:

(1) 25 points (1 round is good for 1 point).

(2) 92% of shots must be "in circle" hits for a passing grade (2 misses allowed on total course).

(3) Shots not taken during stage 5 when a "no-shoot" situation is presented scores a point, just as an accurate shot in a hostile situation.

(4) 92% is 23 of 25 possible points.

3. A certified advanced handgun firearms instructor must be on the range during all phases of advanced handgun training. There shall be no less than one certified firearms instructor per four students.

D. Course: Virginia private security advanced handgun course of fire.

1. Stage 1: Shoot/don't shoot drill. Stage 1 of the advanced handgun course of fire is conducted in a classroom using a 16 mm film or video cassette tape, or other audiovisual electronics, of firearms combat scenarios or in practical exercises on the range to assess the student's decision-making capability given job-related shoot/don't shoot incidents.

After the interaction of the scenario, the students must explain all of their commands and actions.

Dry-fire response from a weapon rendered safe should be incorporated into the scenario interaction.

2. Stage 2: Turn-and-fire drill. Stage 2 of the advanced handgun course of fire is held at a firing range and consists of turn-and-fire drills from varying distances (straight draw hip holsters only).

All handguns are loaded with 6 rounds of ammunition and safely holstered. Shooters are positioned with their backs to the targets, facing the instructor up-range. The instructor will command all shooters to walk at a normal pace, directly away from the target. Upon the command "fire," the students must quickly turn while acquiring a firm grip on the weapon. Once facing the target and in a stable position, they must safely draw and fire 2 rounds at the designated target circle. After shooting, while facing the target, the student must reholster safely, then turn around to face up range, ready to continue the exercise. The "fire" commands will be called at 3-5 yards, 5-7 yards, and then 8-10 yards.

3. Stage 3: Failure to stop drill. Stage 3 of the advanced handgun course of fire is held at a firing range and consists of failure to stop drills fired from the 7-yard line (straight draw hip holsters only).

All handguns are loaded with 6 rounds of ammunition and are safely holstered. Shooters are positioned with their backs to the targets, facing the instructor up-range. The instructor will command all shooters to walk at a normal pace, directly away from the target. Upon the command "fire," given at approximately the 7-yard line, each shooter must safely turn around while acquiring a firm grip on their weapon as performed in the previous drill. Once facing the target, the students will draw and fire 2 rounds at the 8-inch body circle, and then one immediate round to the 4-inch head circle. The student will then safely reholster. The drill will be repeated three times.

4. Stage 4: Multiple target identification drill. Stage 4 of the advanced handgun course of fire is held at a firing range and consists of multiple target identification drills fired from varying distances (straight draw hip holsters only).

Each shooter will line up on a set of three targets. Only two shooters at one time can complete this exercise on a standard 10-12 station range. However, smaller ranges may allow for only one shooter at a time.

Each handgun is loaded with six rounds of ammunition and safely holstered. The shooters are positioned with their backs to the targets, facing the instructor up-range. The instructor will command all shooters to walk at a normal pace, directly away from the targets. Upon the command "left," "right," or "center," the student must again turn around safely while establishing a firm grip on the weapon. Then, once stable, the student must quickly draw and fire 2 rounds at the designated circle on the "called" target ("L," "R," "C"). Then, the shooter, while still facing the targets, must safely reholster, turn around to face up range, and continue the exercise. Each two-round pair must be fired within 4 seconds of the called command. Direction commands will be called at 3-5 yards, 5-7 yards, and then 8-10 yards.

5. Stage 5: Judgmental shooting. This drill combines the skills developed in the prior four stages. The shooter will be required to safely turn and fire at a "photograph" type target which may be either friendly or hostile. It requires hostile targets to be stopped using deadly force. Necessity (immediate jeopardy) is presumed for this exercise. This stage allows the instructor to evaluate the decision-making capability of the student as well as his shooting accuracy and safety.

Shooter is placed on the 10-yard line facing the instructor with the target to his rear. The target will be placed at any location along the range target line and should not be seen by the student until he is given the "turn" command during the drill. Each shooter has the opportunity to complete this drill four times. Each decision is worth one point. If he shoots at a hostile target, a hit anywhere on that target will score the point. If a friendly target is presented, it is clearly a no-shoot situation and the student should merely holster safely to score the point. There is a 4-second time limit at this stage for any "shoot" situation.

The instructor will allow each shooter two opportunities to complete this drill and place two targets downrange for each. Four points or hits are still necessary at this stage for the total score. If two targets are used, then the time limit is raised to 6 seconds, regardless of whether two hostile targets are used or one hostile with one friendly.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-410. Entry-level patrol rifle training and range qualification.

A. Patrol rifle classroom training. Individual must first successfully complete security officer handgun training. The entry-level patrol rifle classroom instruction will emphasize but not be limited to:

1. Rifle handling techniques

a. Nomenclature and identification of rifle parts

b. Field striping and reassembling

c. Loading and unloading

d. Chambering

e. Reloading

f. Slings

(1) Traditional sling

(2) Single point sling

(3) 3-point sling

g. Transition from handgun to rifle and rifle to handgun

h. Malfunctions

i. Immediate actions procedures

j. Remedial action

k. Proper care and maintenance

l. Rifle retention

m. Ammunition management and identification

n. Range safety

o. Dim light/low light

2. Fundamentals of rifle marksmanship

a. Grip

b. Stance (position)

c. Sight alignment

d. Sight picture

e. Trigger control

f. Breathing

g. Follow through

3. Zeroing iron sights

a. Establishing mechanical zero

b. Zeroing process

4. Dim light shooting

a. Hours of darkness/dim light

b. Identification requirements

c. Unaided reduced light shooting techniques

d. Aided reduced light shooting techniques

5. Shooting positions

a. Fundamentals of shooting positions

b. Basic patrol positions

6. Use of force

7. Criminal and civil liability

8. Written comprehensive examination

Total hours (excluding examination) - 16 hours

B. Range qualification (no minimum hours). The purpose of the range firing course is to provide practical patrol rifle training and qualification to those individuals who carry or have immediate access to a patrol rifle in the performance of their duties with the sighting system that will be carried on duty.

C. Patrol rifle qualification course.

1. All rifle qualification will be done with a law-enforcement type and caliber rifle. A total of 60 rounds of ammunition will be fired for rifle qualification.

2. All rifle qualification firing will be done with iron sights. In addition, if an officer is using an optic while on duty, they must qualify with that optic.

3. All indoor rifle qualification firing will be done at a range that accommodates a distance of 25 yards between the shooter and the target. No variances of this distance are allowed. The indoor target system will contain two targets per shooter mounted side by side. The targets will be FBI Q-R, half-sized silhouette targets. Use of this target type will simulate shooting at 50 yards.

4. All outdoor rifle qualification firing will be done at 50 yards using the FBI Q silhouette full-sized targets. Two of these targets will be mounted side by side for each shooter.

5. FBI Q silhouette targets are used for rifle qualification, scoring will be all hits inside the bottle – value 5 points; outside the bottle – value 0 points. With these targets a maximum score of 300 points is possible. Minimum qualification is 85% or 255 points.

D. Patrol rifle course of fire.

1. Prior to qualification, all shooters are required to fire a minimum of 30 familiarization rounds which will include transition drills from handgun to rifle and rifle to handgun. Shooters will fire a minimum of 10 rounds with a handgun. This exercise is not scored and the distance is at the discretion of the instructor.

2. Stage 1: 50 yards/25 yards (indoors) – Shooters will load their rifle with a magazine of 20 rounds and place the selector on safe. From the standing position with the rifle in the sling carry position, on command the shooters will fire 5 rounds from the standing position, place the selector on safe, assume a kneeling position and fire 5 rounds, place the selector on safe; shooter will assume the prone position, the shooter will fire 10 rounds. All 20 rounds of this stage will be fired at the left hand target. (1 minute) When firing is complete shooters will place the selector on safe and await further command.

3. Stage 2: 25 yards – Shooters will load their rifle with a magazine of 15 rounds and place the selector on safe. From the standing position with the rifle in the sling carry position, on command the shooters will fire 5 rounds from the standing position, place the selector on safe, assume a kneeling position and fire 5 rounds, place the selector on safe; shooter will assume the prone position, the shooter will fire 5 rounds. All 15 rounds of this stage will be fired at the right hand target. (45 seconds) When firing is complete shooters will place the selector on safe and await further command.

4. Stage 3: 15 yards - On command shooters will assume the standing position and load rifle with a magazine of 10 rounds. On command shooters will fire 5 rounds at the right-hand target, place the selector on safe, assume the kneeling position and fire 5 rounds at the left-hand target in 15 seconds.

5. Stage 4: 7 yards - On command shooters will load rifle with a magazine of 20 rounds, selector in the safe position, and then place the rifle in the sling carry position. On command shooters will fire 2 rounds into the right target with a 2 second time limit. Upon completion of firing, shooters will place the selector on safe and the rifle in the sling carry position. This exercise will be fired 5 times with a total of 10 rounds expended.

6. Stage 5: 5 yards - On command shooters will load rifle with a magazine of 5 rounds, selector in the safe position, and then place the rifle in the sling carry position. On command shooters will fire 1 round into the left target head with a 2 second time limit. Upon completion of firing, shooters will place the selector on safe and the rifle in the sling carry position. This exercise will be fired 5 times with a total of 5 rounds expended.

E. Low light/dim light qualification course of fire.

7 yards - Under low-light conditions, on command shooters will fire 5 rounds at the left target, place the selector in the safe position, assume the kneeling position and fire 5 rounds at the right target. A time limit of 1 minute is allowed for this stage.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-420. Firearms retraining.

A. All armed private security services business personnel with the exception of personal protection specialists must satisfactorily complete four hours of firearms classroom training or practical exercises and range training, and requalify for handgun as prescribed in this chapter.

B. Requalification training with the shotgun shall be comprised of three hours of classroom training or practical exercises and range training and requalification firing as specified in this chapter.

C. Requalification training with the patrol rifle shall be comprised of four hours of firearms classroom training or practical exercises and range training and requalification firing as specified in this chapter.

D. All applicable firearms retraining must be completed and documented with the department on an annual basis prior to the issuance of a firearms endorsement.

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

6VAC20-174-430. Advanced handgun retraining.

All armed private security services business personnel registered in the category of personal protection specialist or other armed category seeking advanced handgun designation must satisfactorily complete advanced handgun retraining, which includes eight hours of firearms classroom training and range training, and requalify for handgun as prescribed in this chapter as follows:

1. Legal authority and decision-making

2. Handgun safety, marksmanship, and skill development

3. Completion of advanced handgun course of fire

Total hours (excluding range qualification) - 8 hours

Statutory Authority

§ 9.1-141 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 31, Issue 25, eff. September 9, 2015.

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