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Retired Law Enforcement Officer Firearms Certification

In 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation to allow for the NC Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission to “establish standards and guidelines for the annual firearms certification of qualified retired law enforcement officers.” This action was a result of the passage by the US Congress of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (known as H.R. 218) which allows for qualified and trained active law enforcement officers and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed weapons nationwide. Following a lengthy process, the program for qualification of retired officers has now been developed.

Under the federal law, retired law enforcement officers may carry concealed firearms nationwide if they meet the definition of a “qualified retired law enforcement officer” as specified in H.R. 218 and have, within the most recent 12-month period, met the State’s standards for training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms.

A retired officer residing in North Carolina may meet the State’s standards in one of two ways, as follows:

  • The retired officer may qualify with the agency from which he/she retired. Under this scenario, the agency is responsible for providing documentation to the retired officer to verify their completion of the annual in-service firearms training and qualification requirements. No documentation would have to be submitted to the Criminal Justice Standards Commission by the agency or the officer; or,
  • The retired officer may go to a Commission certified law enforcement Specialized Firearms Instructor and complete the training and qualification and then apply to the Criminal Justice Standards Commission for certification under the new Retired Law Enforcement Officers Firearms Qualification Certification Program.

Specific information explaining the requirements for participating in this program are at the following links: 

Questions regarding this program should be directed to Mr. Bob Overton of our staff at (919) 661-5980, or via e-mail at