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Retired Police Right to Carry Weapons

Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act for 2004 (Federal Right to Carry)

Retired members must meet all of the legislation's requirements to be eligible for the certification program. The requirements include:

  • Retired in good standing from the agency as a law enforcement officer, other than for reasons of mental instability. He or she must have had 15 years or more of active service or retired with a service connected disability. A person retiring as the result of a service connected disability must have completed his or her probationary period.
  • Retiree has a non-forfeitable right to benefits under the retirement plan of the agency.
  • During the most recent 12-month period, he or she has met, at the expense of the individual, the State's standards for the training and qualification for active law enforcement officers to carry firearms.
  • Retiree is not under the influence of alcohol or another intoxicating or hallucinatory drug or substance, including prescription drugs or any drug which may impair the retiree's ability to qualify at the Range.
  • Retiree is not prohibited by Federal law to possess a firearm.

Retiree Requirements

If a retired member wishes to carry a firearm under the law and attend the certification program, he or she must begin the process by contacting OHR Police Personnel by email at or call 410-887-2208. The Personnel Section will provide you with a Retiree Certification form and current Range Requirements. The completed form may be returned via email at, by fax to 410-825-5991 or by U.S. Mail to Police Personnel Section, 308 Allegheny Avenue, Towson, Maryland 21204.

Retiree requirements include:

  • Submitting to a background check
  • Obtaining a Departmental retiree photo identification card
  • Completing a Range Waiver along with a Retiree Certification Form
  • Attending a five-hour training session, which includes classroom and qualification courses

Retirees who attend the certification program will be able to qualify:

  • On the type of weapon that he or she was initially trained with or converted to by the Department
  • With a weapon that is approved for off-duty use by active members
  • Two of the most common weapons carried by officers include:
    • Smith and Wesson Model 60 (Revolver: .38 cal)
    • SIG Sauer Model P239 (Semi-automatic: 9mm and .40 cal)

For the qualification course retirees are required:

  • Provide their own factory ammunition for qualification course
  • At least 100 rounds of ammunition
  • Must qualify and carry the ammunition that meets the specifications developed by the Firearms Training Team

Weapons Criteria—All weapons and ammunition must meet the following specifications:

  1. Caliber: Allowed caliber will be .38, .357 Magnum, 9mm, .40, .357 SIG and .45 ACP
  2. Ammunition: The make of round will be determined and posted by the Firearms Training Team with the approval of the Training Section Commander. The following ammunition specifications have been approved for off-duty carry:
  •  9mm 115-147 Hollow Point
  • .40 cal 180 Hydra-Shock
  • .45 cal 185-230 Hollow Point
  • .357 SIG 125-150 Hollow Point
  • .38 cal 125-147 Hollow Point
  1. Action:
  • Weapons will be either a revolver or a pistol.
  • All pistols must have an internal safety device that will block the firing pin from striking the cartridge unless the trigger is pulled.
  • Weapons equipped with a "striker" firing pin must operate in the double action mode where the pin is drawn back with each pull of the trigger prior to its release.
  • No pistol may have an external safety device except trigger blocking devices that are required by Maryland law.
  • Pistols designed for double action-single action (DA-SA) are acceptable. In the cases of DA-SA pistols, the external de-cocking lever can only be designed to safely lower the hammer on a loaded cartridge and not as a safety.
  • The trigger pull for any pistol must not be less than eight pounds for the double action and, if applicable, four pounds for the single.
  • The trigger pull for a revolver must not be less than eight pounds.
  • The revolver chosen must have an internal safety designed to block the hammer from striking the cartridge case unless the trigger is pulled. (Internal hammers are acceptable.)
  • Repairs to the weapons will be the responsibility of the owner, not the Range staff.
  • Weapons must not be modified.
  1. Procedure
  • When an inquiry is made from a former sworn member, he or she will be referred to the designated member in the Personnel Section.
  • The designated member will explain the requirements of the law (the retiree should have already received a letter of explanation).
  • The retiree will be mailed a questionnaire regarding personal information to determine if they are eligible to carry a handgun under this law.
  • The retiree will be informed about dates available at the Range to qualify and will be referred to Range personnel if they have questions about weapons or ammunition.
  • The designated Personnel member will verify the status of the retiree upon retirement to make sure the person left in good standing. If unable to determine the status or if it is determined the person did not leave in good standing, the information will be forwarded to the Human Resources Commander for final determination.
  • After the completed questionnaire is returned, the designated Personnel member will review the questionnaire and cause a criminal record-wanted check to be made.
  • If approved, the retiree will be contacted and told the next available Range date and reminded to furnish the ammunition.
  • After attending the classroom portion and successful qualification, Range personnel will issue a card of qualification verification. Range personnel will forward the name of the qualifying retiree to the Security Desk at the Public Safety Building and designated member in Personnel.
  • If not already issued, the retiree must report to the Public Safety Building for a photo identification card.
  • The questionnaire, qualification and record check will be done annually.
Revised September 10, 2018         


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