In March 2010, the Municipal Police Training Committee established minimum standards for the qualification and training with the service pistol (or revolver) for municipal police officers here in Massachusetts.

The minimum standards included herein are required of all sworn municipal police officers in the Commonwealth, whether full time, reserve or intermittent.  These standards are divided into two sections:  Qualification and Training.  Qualification under these standards is intended to document existing marksmanship proficiency and safe firearms handling skills.  Training is intended to improve the officer’s marksmanship, reaction and decision making skills under stress in a variety of potential shooting situations, as well as to enhance officer safety and safety of the public.  The standards listed are minimum standards only.  Nothing herein should be construed as recommending adherence to only to the minimum standards or restricts agencies in any way from exceeding them. 

1.  Annually complete the MPTC Basic Qualification Course at least once with a minimum score of 80%
    a.  While duty ammo is not required, the caliber used for qualification shall be identical to that used for duty ammunition.
    b.  The target used for qualification shall be the standard MPTC approved target.

1. Annually receive instruction and review in legal issues and department policy on deadly force, and the safe handling and storage of firearms.  This may be done at the time of qualification, during range training or on a separate date.
2. In addition to the annual qualification standard and the annual review requirements outlined above, each officer shall complete, within each 12 month period, two training sessions in the use of the handgun.
    a.  At a minimum, each officer shall discharge at least 50 live fire rounds for training purposes other than the MPTC Basic
         Qualification Course.   The intent is for these rounds to be expended in multiple firearms training sessions.
    b.  Each training session shall be realistic in nature; training should include the following: judgmental shooting, reduced light
         and multiple target drills or scenarios, shooting at moving targets, and shooting while moving.
    c.  Training should enhance skill diversity by varying the live fire drills from session to session.
    d.  Training should be scenario based wherever practical and incorporate the use of cover, shooting from a variety of
         positions, and the use of both sighted and point shooting techniques.
    e.  Any target may be used for training purposes; however, the use of steel or reactive targets is encouraged where practical.
    f.  Skill building drills may include firearms simulators (such as Range 3000), Simunition weapons, Airsoft, plastic rounds and
         Red/Blue guns.
    g. Departments are encouraged to use MPTC certified instructors in their firearms training programs.

Approved by MPTC March 2010

These new standards only apply to handgun qualification and training.  At this time, the MPTC is silent regarding standards for patrol rifle and shotgun.  Training and qualification with these tools remains governed by the individual agency's policy.

The changes have been a topic of discussion at our monthly meetings and the Executive Board members who serve on the MPTC Firearms Committee are happy to answer questions regarding the new requirements.  You are also encouraged to attend the MPTC Firearms Instructor Recertification classes where this will be explained. 

Immediate questions can be directed to the MPTC Firearms Coordinator - Sgt. Bill Leanos at

Revised March 27, 2010