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Keeping Up With Firearms Evolution: NIJ Revising Firearms Standards

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages

This fact sheet reports on the status of the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice's (NIJ) plans to update minimum standards for the features and performance of police autoloading pistols and 12-gauge shotguns, as well as to develop a new minimum performance standard for patrol rifles.


NIJ recently established a Special Technical Committee (STC) for Law Enforcement Firearms. The purpose of this STC is to update NIJ Standard 0112.03 (Revision A), "Autoloading Pistols for Police Officers," and NIJ Standard 0113.00, "12-Gauge Shotguns for Police Use." This STC is also charged with the development of a new minimum performance standard for patrol rifles. The STC is composed of firearms subject-matter experts from federal, state, and local enforcement agencies; test laboratories; and persons with knowledge of standards development and product certification. NIJ anticipates that initial drafts of the three standards will be published for public comment in 2019. The STC is currently developing minimum performance requirements that U.S. law enforcement agencies should demand of their pistols, rifles, and shotguns. Factors being considered include service life; durability; exposure to environmental conditions such as heat, cold, water, and sand; and resistance to mechanical shock. The STC is also developing a description of how laboratories should test firearms when determining compliance with the requirements of the minimum standard. Online access is provided to more information on NIJ standards.