United States Marshals Service's Use of Independent Contractors as Guards
Audit Report 05-24
Office of the Inspector General
The following are excerpts from USMS policy on the use of firearms by personal services contract guards.
Requirement For Training and Qualification: All USMS employees who are authorized to carry firearms will be trained in their use and will qualify and be familiarized with them according to the chart below. This requirement applies to all authorized firearms used by an employee.
All others who carry firearms under the authorization of the USMS (guards, special deputy U.S. marshals, etc.) will also be qualified by a USMS firearms instructor or, if they are employed by another law enforcement agency, by their own agency's instructors and policies. Court Security Officers will be qualified according to the terms of the current CSO contract.
Required Qualifications/Familiarizations: It is the responsibility of each employee to successfully qualify with the firearms they are authorized to carry.
The following chart describes the minimum required firearms qualifications and familiarizations for operational personnel:
Districts are authorized and encouraged to conduct additional familiarization at their discretion.
Employees Required to Carry Handguns While On Duty
Off-Duty Carriage of Weapons
Court Security Officers (CSOs) and guards are not authorized to carry firearms or non-lethal devices off duty.
Use of Force Policy/Firearms Policy
Before being authorized to carry a firearm, each employee will be instructed in, and issued a copy of, the use of force and firearms policy directives. The issuance and instructions will be documented on Form USM-333, Weapons Qualification and Familiarization/Authorization to Use Personally Owned Weapons.
Authorized Weapons: Personally Owned Handguns
Each personally owned weapon must be approved in writing by a USMS supervisor (GS-13 or above) on Form USM-333, Weapons Qualifications and Familiarization/Authorization to Use Personally Owned Weapons.
Firearms Instruction: Certified USMS firearms instructors will conduct all qualifications, familiarization, proficiency demonstrations and other firearms training provided by the USMS. Training provided by outside vendors/agencies is not subject to this requirement.
Firearms Inspection: Prior to qualification, the firearms instructor will inspect each firearm to ensure it meets USMS safety and mechanical requirements.
Weapons Qualification Record: The firearms instructor will record all firearms qualifications, familiarization, tactical familiarization courses, inspections and verifications on Form USM-333, Weapons Qualification and Familiarization/Authorization to Use Personally Owned Weapons, and submit the form to a USMS supervisor (GS-13 or above) for authorization. A copy will be provided to the employee.