Lethal Weapons Training Program
Effective March 31, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf granted a six-month extension to the certifications held by individuals certified as Privately Employed Agents pursuant to the Lethal Weapons Training Act, 22 P.S. § 41 et seq., commonly referred to as Act 235. This extension was necessitated by the unavailability of Act 235 recertification training courses during the current state of emergency and will allow them to continue their important duties for six months from the expiration date of their certification.
Privately Employed Agents include individuals employed by hospitals, health care facilities, and other life-sustaining businesses vital to the ongoing fight against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor's action allows a six-month extension of the Act 235 certification for any agents whose five-year certifications expire from March 6, 2020, until September 7, 2020. A Privately Employed Agent subject to this certification extension must renew his or her Act 235 Certification no later than six (6) months after the expiration date of their current Act 235 Certification.
Additionally, to alleviate complications with new certification training, approval letters that expired after March 15, 2020 will be extended until December 15, 2020. All training must be completed before the expiration date on the training approval letter.
The Lethal Weapons Training Act 235 provides certification to privately employed agents to carry a lethal weapon. A lethal weapon is any firearm, device, instrument, material, or any other substance that is capable of bringing about great bodily harm or death. The Lethal Weapons Training Act incorporates education and training as part of being a certified agent.
All Act 235 certification actions are available on the Applications Page.
Please note that in August 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior
Court issued an opinion in Commonwealth v. Anderson, ___ A.3d ___ (Aug. 23,
2017), and ruled that an Act 235 certification is not a substitute for a
license to carry. Agents are reminded of
the Regulations governing Act 235, at Section 21.26(d), which state "The
issuance of a certification card to a privately employed agent does not grant
the agent the right or privilege to carry, possess, own, or have under his
control a firearm contrary to 18 Pa.C.S. § §
6101—6120 (relating to Uniform Firearms Act)." In light of this ruling, it may be prudent
for agents to obtain a license to carry their firearms while in an off-duty
status, including traveling to and from places of employment, or in instances
where agents are required to conceal a firearm on duty, including loaded carry
inside of a vehicle. Agents should
direct questions regarding this to their employers.