442 FW 1
Firearms

Supersedes 442 FW 1, 06/16/08

Date:  February 20, 2009

Series: Law Enforcement

Part 442:  Firearms and Use of Force

Originating Office: Office of Law Enforcement

 

 

PDF Version


 

1.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter establishes policy for Service-issued firearms that Service law enforcement officers use to perform their official duties.

 

1.2 What is the scope of this chapter?

 

A. This chapter applies to Service Law Enforcement Officers authorized to carry weapons as part of their official duties. 

 

B. This chapter does not address the use of firearms by Service employees performing non-law enforcement activities. Examples of such activities include killing injured animals, self-defense against wildlife, predator or stray animal control, and similar activities.

 

1.3 What are the authorities for this chapter?

 

A. The Lacey Act Amendments (16 U.S.C. 3375(b)).

 

B. 446 DM, Law Enforcement.

 

1.4 What is the policy? If Service law enforcement officers meet our training standards, they may carry and use firearms to perform their official law enforcement duties while on or off-duty. Officers must successfully qualify with their firearms semiannually as a condition of employment.

 

1.5 Who is responsible for the firearms program for Service law enforcement?

 

A. The Chief – Office of Law Enforcement (OLE):

 

(1) Ensures that all Special Agents within the OLE comply with this policy, and

 

(2) Coordinates with the Assistant Director – National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) to develop and revise our firearms policy and procedures.

 

B. The Assistant Director – NWRS:

 

(1) Works with the Regional Chiefs – NWRS (RC/NWRS) to ensure that all Refuge Law Enforcement Officers comply with this policy.

 

(2) Coordinates with the RCs/NWRS and the Chief/OLE to develop and revise our firearms policy and procedures.

 

C. Service Law Enforcement Officers:

 

(1) Must maintain their proficiency with duty weapons,

 

(2) Must meet the minimum firearms qualification requirements, and

 

(3) Should contact a Service Designated Firearms Instructor (SDFI) if they have questions about firearms proficiency or requests for assistance or training.

 

D. Supervisors of Service law enforcement officers must:

 

(1) Provide officers with a reasonable amount of time, equipment, supplies, and training necessary to allow them to maintain firearms proficiency as outlined in a SDFI’s practice plan,

 

(2) Maintain records of remedial firearms notifications and training (also see section 1.9B and H), and

 

(3) Ensure compliance with this policy at the local level.

 

E. Service Designated Firearms Instructors (SDFI) and other certified firearm instructors or range officers qualify Service law enforcement officers, develop practice plans, and help them maintain firearms proficiency (see section 1.10 for more information about SDFIs).

 

F. Lead Regional Firearms Instructors (LRFI) (also see section 1.10):

 

(1) Are designated by the Regional Special Agents in Charge (SAC) or the RC/NWRS for their respective programs.

 

(2) Plan, organize, implement, and evaluate firearms training within their program.

 

(3) Participate in the Service Firearms Committee (see section 1.12 for more information about the Firearms Committee).

 

G. The Special Agent in Charge (SAC), OLE Branch of Training and Inspection develops and maintains the sidearm, shotgun, and rifle training programs and standards for OLE in consultation with the Firearms Committee.

 

H. The Refuge Law Enforcement Training Specialist, Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training develops and maintains the sidearm, shotgun, and rifle training programs and standards for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

 

1.6 What firearms and ammunition may Service law enforcement officers use?

 

A. Authorized Firearms and Ammunition. Service law enforcement officers may only use Service-owned and issued firearms and ammunition for law enforcement purposes. The Chief/OLE or Assistant Director/NWRS approves the specific make and model of firearms we may issue to officers. Officers are not authorized to carry personal firearms for official law enforcement purposes.

 

B. Providing Ammunition for Training. To ensure that all Service law enforcement officers remain proficient with their weapons, supervisors must provide officers with an appropriate number of rounds to meet qualification requirements and to practice with each weapon that they are authorized to carry. The SAC or RC/NWRS must ensure that supervisors provide and officers fire this ammunition each year.

 

1.7 What are the initial firearms training requirements for entry-level officers?

 

A. Service Sidearm Training. To qualify to carry and use a sidearm, all entry-level Service law enforcement officers must:

 

(1) Successfully complete training on sidearm use from the Criminal Investigator or Basic Land Management Police Training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) or other law enforcement training school. To attend a school other than the FLETC, the officer must receive written permission from the Department’s Director – Office of Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Management (OLESEM).  To familiarize officers with firing at night, completion of a reduced-light course of fire is required as part of the initial firearms training.

 

(2) Fire a minimum score of 80 percent on the course of fire used for qualification purposes during this basic training. If we provide qualification tests during the Special Agent Basic School or the Refuge Officer Basic School, officers must still score a minimum of 80 percent.

 

B. Sidearm-Specific Training.

 

(1) The training described in section 1.7A must be specific to the type (manufacturer) of sidearm that the Service will issue to the law enforcement officer.

 

(2) If the Service law enforcement officer uses a different type of sidearm during initial training than the one the Service will issue:

 

(a) The officer must successfully complete a transitional firearms training program specifically for the sidearm he/she will be issued.

 

(b) The OLE Branch of Training and Inspection or the Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training specifies the transitional training requirements for the weapon.

 

(c) The officer will not be issued a Service firearm until he/she has successfully completed transitional training and qualification.

 

C. Service Shotguns and Rifles. Service law enforcement officers may carry approved shotguns or rifles for law enforcement purposes only after they successfully complete the required training and qualification.

 

1.8 What are the firearms training and qualification requirements after initial qualification?

 

A. Annual Training. After initial qualification, all Service law enforcement officers must take a minimum of 4 hours of firearms training annually. The training must include:

 

(1) Firearms handling and safety,

 

(2) Tactics,

 

(3) Administrative unloading, and

 

(4)  Other skills necessary to effectively use firearms.

 

B. Reduced Light Course of Fire. All Service law enforcement officers must complete a reduced light course of fire with their primary sidearm at least once a year. This course of fire is for familiarization purposes only and there is no minimum score required.

 

C. Qualification. All Service law enforcement officers must qualify semiannually with their primary sidearm and any other Service-issued firearms. Semiannual qualifications must occur at intervals no less than 5 months or greater than 7 months apart.  To satisfy the qualification requirements, officers:


(1) Must get a passing score on an authorized course of fire for each Service weapon carried for law enforcement purposes.

 

(2) May attempt to get a passing score a maximum of three consecutive times.

 

(a) If an officer does not qualify with his/her primary sidearm in three consecutive attempts, the officer must complete remedial training (see section 1.9).

 

(b) If an officer does not qualify with a Service-issued shotgun or rifle, he/she may not carry the firearm until he/she receives remedial training with an SDFI and attains a successful qualification score.

 

D.  Witnessing Scores. When Service law enforcement officers are shooting on a course of fire for record, an SDFI or a certified range officer must supervise their attempts and witness the scores.

 

E. Records. We use FWS Form 3-2085, Firearm Training Record, to keep official records of Service qualifications.

 

(1) In OLE, the SDFI or certified range officer sends the original firearms records to the SAC or his/her designee, who maintains the records for his/her area of responsibility for at least 5 years.

 

(2) For Refuge law enforcement officers, the SFDI or certified range officer sends the original firearms records to the Regional Chief/Division of Refuge Law Enforcement (RC/DRLE) or his/her designee, who maintains the records for his/her area of responsibility for at least 5 years.

 

F. Targets. When firing for the record, Service law enforcement officers must fire on the OLE/NWRS approved target unless they get prior approval from the OLE Branch of Training and Inspection or the Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training to use another target.

 

G. Authorized Courses of Fire.

 

(1) Service law enforcement officers may only qualify on courses of fire that the Chief/OLE and the Assistant Director/NWRS approve and that the Branch of Training and Inspection or Refuge Law Enforcement Training Office maintain.

 

(2) If a Service law enforcement officer cannot qualify on the Service-approved course of fire because an SDFI is not available, the officer:

 

(a) May qualify on an approved practical police course used by any police agency, provided the course is at least 36 rounds and includes a 25 yard stage of fire.

 

(b) Must get prior written approval from the appropriate LRFI to use an alternate course.

 

(c) Must meet all other requirements in this chapter.

 

(3) Any Service law enforcement officer who fails to qualify using an outside agency’s course of fire must notify the LRFI as soon as possible and make arrangements to qualify with an SDFI.

 

H. Use of Protective Gear. All Service law enforcement officers and firearms instructors must wear Service-issued body armor and eye and ear protection while taking part in any training activity involving the use of live fire ammunition. This requirement includes, but is not limited to, semi-annual qualifications, tactical, and training exercises.

 

I. Medical Exemptions. The Chief/OLE or Assistant Director/NWRS may grant a Service law enforcement officer a medical exemption from the firearms qualification requirements due to a temporary physical condition that may affect the officer’s ability to qualify or if qualification may expose the officer to potential health complications. (For example, officers may receive an exemption for conditions caused by injury, surgery, illness, or pregnancy.) This section does not apply to officers who have failed to qualify or who are not authorized to carry firearms.  For permanent medical conditions, see 1.9E.

 

(1) If the temporary physical condition does not affect the Service law enforcement officer’s ability to use Service-issued firearms, we allow the officer to carry and use the firearms during the term of the medical exemption.

 

(2) The exemption must:

 

(a) Be in writing,

 

(b) Not exceed 270 days, 

 

(c) Be supported by a medical doctor’s written recommendation, and

 

(d) List the firearm(s) the Service law enforcement officer may carry and use during the medical exemption.

 

(3) The Service law enforcement officer must qualify with his/her firearm(s) within 30 days of the expiration of the exemption.

 

1.9 What if a Service law enforcement officer cannot qualify with his/her primary sidearm?

 

A. General. Because Service law enforcement officers must carry firearms as a condition of employment, officers who fail to qualify are subject to removal from a law enforcement position. Managers and supervisors must work closely with their servicing Human Resources Office to ensure they take appropriate actions when an officer fails to qualify with his/her primary sidearm. Failing to qualify means the officer has failed to qualify with his/her primary sidearm within the allotted three attempts.

 

B. Notifications. The following notifications are required if a Service law enforcement officer fails to qualify.

 

(1) Service Designated Firearm Instructor. If a Service law enforcement officer fails to qualify, the SDFI must immediately notify the officer’s supervisor.

 

(2) Supervisors.

 

(a) If a Refuge Law Enforcement Officer fails to qualify, the officer’s supervisor must notify the RC/DRLE and the RC/NWRS.

 

(b) If an OLE Special Agent fails to qualify, the officer’s supervisor must notify, through the chain of command, the appropriate SAC.

 

(c) The notice must include:

 

(i) The date of the qualification failure,

 

(ii) Remedial training procedures,

 

(iii) A general statement of referral to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for any personal problems the officer may be experiencing (also see 227 FW 4), and

 

(iv) A statement indicating the officer should share with the supervisor any medical condition that might be contributing to the deficiency.

 

(d) Supervisors must:

 

(i) Send a written “Remedial Firearms Training Notice” to officers who fail to qualify (see Exhibit 1 for a sample notice),

 

(ii) Keep a copy of the notice for the career of the officer, and

 

(iii) Send a copy of the notice to the appropriate supervisor if the officer transfers to a different duty station.

 

C. Remedial Training. Service law enforcement officers who fail to qualify must be given remedial training. Remedial training may be given in any combination of days and training hours as long as the minimum requirements are satisfied. At least two SDFIs must administer the firearms qualifications which follow the remedial training.

 

(1) Stage One Remedial Training. A Service law enforcement officer who fails to qualify must complete stage one remedial training. Stage one remedial training consists of at least 8 hours of firearms training within 30 days. The training covers the principals of basic marksmanship and any specific areas in which the officer needs improvement. At the conclusion of the remedial training, the officer must be given 3 additional attempts to qualify.

 

(a) If the officer qualifies, he/she will be returned to full law enforcement authority.

 

(b) If the officer fails to qualify, he/she must complete stage two remedial training.

 

(2) Stage Two Remedial Training. If a Service law enforcement officer fails to qualify after completing stage one remedial training, he/she must take stage two remedial training. Stage two remedial training consists of at least 24 hours of firearms training within 30 days.  The training covers the principals of basic marksmanship and any specific areas in which the officer needs improvement. At the conclusion of the remedial training, the officer must be given 3 additional attempts to qualify.

 

(a) If the officer qualifies, he/she will be returned to full law enforcement authority.

 

(b) If the officer fails to qualify, the immediate supervisor in consultation with the Chief, OLE, Assistant Director/NWRS or the ARD/NWRS will consider removing the officer from his/her position as a law enforcement officer. The immediate supervisor, Chief/OLE, Assistant Director/NWRS or the ARD/NWRS must coordinate with the Human Resources Office to determine the appropriate course of action.

 

D. Weapon Inspection. If a Service law enforcement officer fails to qualify at any time, a Service Designated Armorer (SDA) will inspect the officer’s weapon to identify any mechanical problems. If a mechanical problem is identified, the weapon will be repaired or replaced and the officer will be given three additional attempts to qualify. If no mechanical problem is identified, the officer must complete remedial training as described (see section 1.15 for more information on SDAs).

 

E. Medical Conditions. Service law enforcement officers must notify their supervisors as soon as possible of any permanent medical condition that would prevent them from qualifying prior to shooting a qualification course. The medical condition must be substantiated with a doctor’s note. If a permanent medical condition is substantiated, the immediate supervisor in consultation with the Chief/OLE, Assistant Director/NWRS or the ARD/NWRS will consider removing the officer from his/her position as a law enforcement officer. The immediate supervisor, Chief/OLE, Assistant Director/NWRS or the ARD/NWRS must coordinate with the Human Resources Office to determine the appropriate course of action.  For temporary medical conditions, see section 1.8I.

 

F. Limitations on Remedial Training. If, throughout the course of a Service law enforcement officer's career, he/she must complete more than three stage one remedial training sessions or more than one stage two remedial training session, the immediate supervisor, in consultation with the Chief/OLE, Assistant Director/NWRS or the ARD/NWRS will consider removing the officer from his/her position. The immediate supervisor, Chief/OLE, Assistant Director/NWRS or the ARD/NWRS must coordinate with the Human Resources Office to determine the appropriate course of action.

 

G. Suspension of Law Enforcement Authority. A Service law enforcement officer who fails to qualify is not authorized to carry any Service firearm for law enforcement purposes until he/she successfully qualifies. During remedial training, the officer may retain his/her Service firearms and transport the firearm/s to the range for training, practice, and qualification purposes only. The Service firearms and credentials will be revoked from any officer, who the immediate supervisor, Chief/OLE, Assistant Director/NWRS or the ARD/NWRS is considering removing from a law enforcement officer position, including:

 

(1) An officer who fails to qualify after completing a stage two remedial training session (see section 1.9 C(2)(b)).

 

(2) An officer who exceeds the remedial training limitations (see 1.9F).

 

(3) An officer who has a substantiated permanent medical condition preventing him/her from qualifying (see section 1.9E).

 

H. Records. An SDFI must record all remedial firearms training and qualifications on FWS Form 3-2336, Remedial Firearms Training and Qualification Record.

 

(1) For OLE, the SFDI must send original records to the officer’s immediate supervisor, with a copy to the appropriate SAC.

 

(2) For the DRLE, the SFDI must send original records to the officer’s immediate supervisor with a copy to the appropriate RC/DRLE.

 

(3) The supervisor must:

 

(a) Keep the records for the career of the officer, and

 

(b) Send the records to the appropriate supervisor if the officer transfers to a different duty station.

 

1.10 What are the requirements for certified firearms instructors?

 

A. Service Designated Firearms Instructors (SDFI). Within each Region the SAC and the RC/NWRS designate Service law enforcement officers to serve as SDFIs for their programs. SDFIs assist the LRFI.

 

(1) To become an SDFI, an employee must:

 

(a) Graduate from a basic Firearms Instructor Training Course at FLETC or complete an equivalent course approved by the OLE Branch of Training and Inspection or the Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training, and

 

(b) Score 85% or higher on qualifications.

 

(2) SDFI designations remain in effect until:

 

(a) An instructor fails to conduct or assist in the presentation of one training/qualification session each year,

 

(b) An instructor fails to score 85% or higher on a qualification, or

 

(c) The Region’s SAC or RC/NWRS changes the designation.

 

(3) To get reinstated, an SDFI must send a written request to the SAC or RC/NWRS. The SAC or RC/NWRS may reinstate the SDFI only after he/she successfully completes a refresher course approved by the Branch of Training and Inspection or the Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training.

 

B. Lead Regional Firearms Instructors. Within each Region, the SAC and the RC/NWRS designate one of the SDFIs within their respective programs to be the LRFI (see section 1.5F for LRFI responsibilities).

 

C. Tracking Instructor Designations. The Branches of Training and Inspection and Refuge Law Enforcement Training maintain a list of all qualified SDFIs and a list of designated LRFIs. They send this list to all SACs, RCs/NWRS, and the Branch Chief of Refuge Law Enforcement Training.

 

D. In-Service Training for SDFIs. Every 3 years, SDFIs must attend an 8-hour in-service training session. The Branch of Training and Inspection or Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training develops and coordinates these training sessions. If a Service firearms instructor cannot attend the regularly scheduled session, he/she must take another Service-approved course within 12 months. Completion of a FLETC advanced firearm course within 12 months will also satisfy this requirement.

 

1.11 What guidelines are available to SDFIs? The OLE Branch of Training and Inspection and the Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training develop, coordinate, issue, and revise the Firearms Instructor Handbook. The handbook includes:

 

A. Copies of Department and Service firearms policies and guidelines,

 

B. Approved courses of fire,

 

C. Lesson plans,

 

D. Qualification reporting procedures and formats, and

 

E. Other information that will help instructors with firearms training programs.

 

1.12 Who serves on the Service’s Firearms Committees and what do they do?

 

A. The OLE and DRLE have separate firearms committees.  LRFIs from all Regions serve on the Service Firearms Committee within each program. The Chief/OLE and the Chief /DRLE designate a Special Agent or Refuge Officer from the OLE/DRLE Branch of Training and Inspection to chair these committees.

 

B. The committees:

 

(1) Meet annually or, if necessary, more often;

 

(2) Develop and evaluate firearms training methods, techniques, and qualification standards;

 

(3) Evaluate remedial training activities in the Regions;

 

(4) Make recommendations and give guidance to the Regions on ways to improve firearms training; and

 

(5) Render decisions on any allowable factory or after-market addition of components or equipment to any Service-issued firearms. 

 

1.13 When may Service law enforcement officers carry and transport firearms? Only Service law enforcement officers who meet the training and qualifications standards in this chapter may carry firearms for law enforcement purposes.

 

A. When to Carry. Because we may call Service law enforcement officers to duty at any time, they may carry Service-issued firearms at all times except as described in section 1.13B.

 

B. Foreign Countries. Service law enforcement officers may not carry firearms in foreign countries in an official capacity unless specific authorization is obtained as described in this section.

 

(1) If a special situation requires a Service law enforcement officer to carry a firearm in a foreign country, before he/she may carry the firearm:

 

(a) The officer must request permission by contacting the Headquarters Office of Law Enforcement (HQ/OLE) or Office of NWRS.

 

(b) The HQ/OLE or NWRS will request written permission from the legal authority in the host country and the U.S. Department of State.

 

(c) If the HQ/OLE or NWRS receives permission from the country and the Department of State, the Chief/OLE or Assistant Director/NWRS may give the officer written permission to carry his/her firearm.

 

(2) All weapons that Service law enforcement officers carry in foreign countries must comply with the requirements of this chapter and any applicable foreign laws regarding weapons.

 

1.14 Who are Service Designated Armorers? Service Designated Armorers (SDAs) are officers who inspect, maintain, and repair our firearms.

 

A. Each SAC and RC/NWRS, in cooperation with the RC/DRLE, must designate Service law enforcement officers within their program to take training and serve as SDAs.

 

B. SDAs must successfully complete a factory-sponsored training course for the specific type of firearm(s) for which they need certification.

 

C. SACs and RCs/NWRS will provide the names of SDAs to the Branch of Training and Inspection and Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training. The training branches will maintain a list that includes the following information for each SDA:

 

(1) Name,

 

(2) Duty location,

 

(3) Program identification, and

 

(4) Weapon certification(s) held.

 

1.15 What are the requirements for firearms maintenance, inspection, safety, and storage?

 

A. Maintenance. Service law enforcement officers are responsible for the care and routine cleaning of their assigned firearms.

 

(1) Service law enforcement officers:

 

(a) Must replace all ammunition carried in the firearm and ammunition carriers semi-annually to ensure reliability.

 

(b) May not disassemble any Service-owned firearm beyond the level specified during the training received for that firearm (i.e., field strip), or modify in any way the internal or external parts of any firearm.

 

(2) Only SDAs, the factory, and, with the approval of a SDA, other certified armorers may install after-market grips, accessories or make other modifications to Service firearms.  The installation of any additional accessories or equipment must be approved by the Firearms Committees. (See section 1.12B(5).)

 

(3)  Must read and follow all warnings and precautions on the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) associated with any solvents or cleaning products used in the maintenance of their Service firearm.  The MSDSs will be kept on file at the duty station as required by Service policy (see 242 FW 2).

 

B. Inspection and Repair.

 

(1) An SDA must inspect Service duty firearms annually to ensure proper functioning. SDAs may disassemble Service firearms as necessary to inspect and analyze problems with the mechanical functioning of weapons.

 

(2) If a firearm has mechanical modifications that pose a safety hazard or if malfunctions or excessive wear are observed, the SDA or Service law enforcement officer must immediately remove the firearm from service until it is repaired or replaced. If immediate repairs are not possible, the Service will issue a replacement firearm of the same type to the officer until the original weapon is repaired.

 

(3) An SDA must survey a firearm that a Service law enforcement officer finds unreliable or in need of excessive repair. If appropriate, the SDA will recommend that the officer’s firearm be replaced.

 

(4) SDAs must document all repairs made to Service firearms. In the OLE, the SAC or his/her designee must maintain records of all annual firearm inspections and repairs. For Refuge Law Enforcement Officers, the RC/DRLE or his/her designee must maintain these records.

 

(5) We will not transfer firearms we deem unsafe to another division or agency unless we repair the firearm or clearly note the existing problems.

 

C. Storage.

 

(1) Service law enforcement officers must store their firearms safely and securely. Officers must store seized firearms and Service firearms that they do not routinely carry at Service facilities in a gun locker, vault, or safe to reduce the possibility of theft or unauthorized removal. The firearms must be unloaded.

 

(2) The Service issues Child Safety Locking Devices (gun locks) with every firearm. Officers must install the Child Safety Locking Devices on every firearm (handguns, shotguns, and rifles) we seize or do not routinely use. A Child Safety Locking Device is a device that, when installed on a firearm and secured by a key or other lock, prevents the firearm from being discharged without first deactivating or removing the device.

 

(3) When operations require it, officers may store firearms at their residence as long as they take appropriate safeguards. It is the officer’s responsibility to ensure the safe and secure storage of Service weapons in locations not accessible to children.

 

(4)  Service law enforcement officers may keep weapons readily accessible in their Service vehicles while performing law enforcement duties.  Officers may leave firearms that they routinely use for law enforcement operations in Service vehicles provided they:

 

(a) Do not store firearms in vehicles that are left unattended for an extended period of time.

 

(b)  Always lock unattended vehicles (see 320 FW 5).

 

(c) Avoid attracting attention that might result in the theft or unauthorized removal of the firearms when securing or removing firearms from vehicles.

 

(5) Service law enforcement officers may store firearms in marked vehicles provided they secure firearms left unattended by using a locking device, compartment, glove box, drawer, or vehicle trunk that locks the firearm in the vehicle.

 

(6) Service law enforcement officers who leave firearms unattended in unmarked vehicles must:

 

(a) Secure all sidearms in the vehicle by using a fixed locking device, compartment, glove box, drawer, or vehicle trunk that locks the firearm in the vehicle, and

 

(b) Conceal all shotguns and rifles so that no one can see them from outside the vehicle. If this is not possible, officers must secure them with a locking device.

 

(7) Sections 1.15C(6) does not apply to Service law enforcement officers who are actively working undercover as part of an approved operation. During undercover work, officers may secure weapons in unattended vehicles by concealing them so that no one can see them from outside the vehicle.

 

D. Inventory. The immediate supervisors of Service law enforcement officers must annually inventory the firearms issued to officers.

 

(1) Supervisors may perform the annual inventory at the same time as the annual firearms inspection (see section 1.15B above). To help with inventory, the supervisor may ask the SDA to verify, record, and report the serial number of each firearm that he/she inspects. The supervisor is still responsible for inventorying all firearms, whether they are inspected or not.

 

(2) In the OLE, the SAC or his/her designee must maintain records of annual firearm inventories.

 

(3) For Refuge Law Enforcement Officers, the RC/DRLE or his/her designee maintain records of annual firearms inventories.  The Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training maintains the firearms inventory for the firearms stored at the FLETC.  

 

E.  Unintentional Discharge. Service law enforcement officers who experience an unintentional discharge with their duty weapon must ensure their immediate supervisor is told of the incident as soon as possible (see 054 FW 1). The officer’s immediate supervisor must take custody of the firearm and secure it for examination by an SDA or for other purposes deemed necessary by the Board of Review (BOR).  If appropriate, the supervisor will supply the officer with a replacement weapon pending the outcome of the BOR. 

 

1.16 What should officers do if they lose a firearm?

 

A. Service law enforcement officers must immediately report the loss or theft of any Service firearm to:

 

(1) Their immediate supervisor (and Accountable Officer if not the same person),

 

(2) The local Federal Bureau of Investigation office, and

 

(3) The local police jurisdiction.

 

B. The officer should submit a written report to his/her immediate supervisor within 24 hours providing the weapon’s make, model number, serial number, caliber, and details of the loss or theft.

 

C.  The immediate supervisor of the officer must ensure the written report is immediately sent to:

 

(1) The Chief/OLE or Assistant Director/NWRS (see 310 FW 7),

 

(2) The SAC of the Professional Responsibility Unit (see 441 FW 5), and

 

(3) The Department of Interior Operations Center (see 446 DM 17.8).

 

D.  The Accountable Officer or Service law enforcement officer must complete a Report of Survey, Form DI 103, and send it to the appropriate Regional Property Administrator.

 

E. The Service may take disciplinary or adverse actions against any Service law enforcement officer who loses a firearm through carelessness or negligence (see 227 FW 2). For example, it is careless for an officer to leave a firearm in an unlocked vehicle (see section 1.15C(4)).

 

1.17 What happens to firearms when Service law enforcement officers transfer to another position or leave the Service?

 

A. Transfers and Reassignments within the Service. Service law enforcement officers may keep firearms and related equipment when they transfer or are reassigned within the Service as long as they retain law enforcement authority and stay within the same program (e.g., the Refuge program).

 

B. Leaving the Service or Relinquishing Law Enforcement Authority. When Service law enforcement officers retire, separate from the Service, or transfer to positions without law enforcement authority, they must return all firearms and related equipment to the OLE Branch of Training and Inspection or the Branch of Refuge Law Enforcement Training.

 

 


For information on the content of this chapter, contact the Office of Law Enforcement. For more information about this Web page, contact Krista Bibb in the Division of Policy and Directives Management, at Krista_Bibb@fws.gov.  



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