What is Act 235?
A: Visit Pennsylvania State
Police PDF doc here:
Act 235 is essentially the the training required to be armed or unarmed
security in Pennsylvania. Some employers do hire non-certified personnel
in unarmed capacities but these individuals would be considered
proprietary private security with no real difference than an employee who
has been designated "security." In most cases these employers have "hands
free" policy or "hands off" in that security simply observes and reports.
Although it is always good policy to keep your hands off patrons and
customers here it would be important here.
Q: What types of
jobs can I get?
A: Armed & Unarmed
Security Officer, Private Investigator (required for PI License), Fugitive
Recovery Agent (working for bondsmen etc.), Body Guard, Security Details
like in motorcades, Security on Nuclear Power Plants, Private Schools,
Q: What is involved in Act
235 Training & Certification?
A: The course
consists of 3 modules for armed security and 2 modules for unarmed
Academics: Crimes codes,
powers of arrest, use of force, identifying misdemeanors and felonies,
scenarios and real-life drills and exercises, legal authority,
constitutional restrictions report writing and more.
Skills: Baton, Handcuffing and
Firearms: Safety, cleaning,
loading and unloading, qualification course of fire.
One can achieve a "L" card =
without firearms or an "F" card = with firearms. Some employers only want
L cards and some require F cards. We suggest F card unless otherwise
needed. If you attempt to get the F card but for example fail the firearms
qualification course or are unsafe with a firearm...you may only obtain
the L card. You can inquire should you fail the firearms part regarding
retesting for the F card.
Q. How long does the full F
Card Act 235 class take?
A: Act 235 F card takes
40 hours and L card takes approx 26 hours.
Q: When are classes
A: Classes are held in
weekday stretches of 40 hours usually (4) 10 hour days. Or, classes run on
weekends in 2 consecutive weekends 10 hours per day.
Q: If I get an L card can I
upgrade to an F card?
A: Yes. You will take a 14
Q: What does it cost for
everything to get my Act 235 F Card?
A: Psychological / Physical /
Finger Prints = Approx $230, Act 235 class, state fee, etc = Approx $400
The DOCTORS require cash payment only and LEASOT
requires cash or credit card for the
actual Act 235.
Q: How do I get started?
A: see here:
Q: Do I need to bring my
A: You can bring your
own or we can provide one. We also have holsters available. The firearm
should be 9MM or larger and a firearm that you feel comfortable with.
Q: Do I need to bring
A: Now we provide
ammunition. You will let us know what types of amunition you need and we
will have it the week of training.
Q: What else do I need to
bring for the full 40 hour class?
A: We can provide the
following if you do not have it however, if you have it then bring it:
also need to bring payment, your approval letter to attend the class, a
form of identification such as drivers license etc.
Q: If my
PSP approval letter has expired can I still attend class?
you will need to do the Psyc and Physical and application process again
and wait for
the approval letter.
Q: How long
does the Act 235 certification last once certified?
A: 5 Years
Q: Do I
need to do any firearms qualifications during the 5 year certification?
however, we recommend that you train and practice regularly.
Q: I am
retired Law Enforcement, can I get any time shaved off or possibly get 235
without taking the class?
the reasoning is such that you must re-learn civilian powers of
arrest/detainment and learn how to do this job now that you are no longer
active law enforcement.
Q: What is
the Fugitive Recovery Class about?
Training focuses on physical
aspects of fugitive recovery including room entry and handcuffing.
Training focuses on US Supreme Court Decision (Taylor vs. Taintor,
16 Wall 366). Fleeing Fugitives and lawful recovery.
Q: Do I need Act 235
certification to take the Fugitive Recovery Class?
A: Yes, Act 235 certification
is the pre-requisite for nearly all advanced classes we provide.
Enforcement Officers Identification and Qualification Frequently Asked
Q: Do I need a new
identification card annually along with the qualification card?
A: No. The identification
card issued by your former law enforcement employer will not be assigned
an expiration date. You are only required to request a new qualification
card if you desire to carry a firearm under the Act 79 (Retired Law
Enforcement Identification Act) when the old one expires.
Q: I retired prior to the
effective date of the new regulation. Is the identification card issued
to me before the regulation was passed valid if it does not contain all of
the information required in the regulation?
No. Law enforcement officers retiring prior to the effective date of the
new regulation (37 Pa. Code, Chapter 221), can request a new
identification card from their former law enforcement agency, pay the
required fee, and receive the new identification card within 60 days of
the request [37 Pa.
Code §221.23 (b)].
Q: My agency will not issue
an identification card to me. Can I still obtain a qualification card?
No. A firearms instructor cannot qualify nor issue a qualification card
to an individual who does not have an identification card issued by a
law enforcement agency defined in the Act.
Q:. Is the course of fire
the same course successfully completed when actively working as a law
A: “A retired law enforcement
officer shall meet the firearms standards established by the public
agency from which the law enforcement officer retired or the guidelines
established by the Commission to carry a firearm of the same type as the
concealed firearm that the officer intends to carry” (37 Pa. Code
§221.33 (c). The current Commission firearms qualification guidelines
are available on our website at
www.mpoetc.state.pa.us by clicking on the link FAQs, and then
Q:. What other types of
training are required for qualification?
qualification will include instruction on the use of force by a civilian
found in 18 Pa. C.S. Chapter 5 (relating to general principles of
justification) the Crimes Code. [37 Pa. Code §221.33 (c)]
Q: What fee can a firearms
instructor charge for providing training and qualification?
A: The law is clear,
certified law enforcement firearms instructors can set the fee based on
what the market will bear. There will be many firearm instructors
participating in the program statewide. Retired officers may benefit
from contacting several individuals from the list of qualified
instructors (available by county) to get the best training at the most
Q:. How do I obtain a new qualification card if the one I am issued
A: According to the
regulations for the administration of the program, “If your
qualification card is lost, stolen, destroyed, mutilated or becomes
illegible,” the retired officer may obtain a replacement qualification
card by requesting one from the firearms instructor who conducted their
original qualification. The retired officer is responsible for paying
the required fee as set by the firearms instructor. Another option
would be to re-qualify with a different certified police firearms
instructor. [37 Pa. Code §221.34 (a)]
Q: I am
a retired law enforcement officer. Why does the new regulation require a
A: The new regulation follows specific guidelines
already stated in the federal law on this subject. The background check
covers the post retirement period and is required to be updated