|(a) In accordance with Texas Government Code §76.0051, a community supervision officer (CSO) is authorized to carry a handgun or other firearm while engaged in the actual discharge of the officer's duties if: (1) The CSO possesses a current certificate of firearms proficiency issued by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE); and (2) The community supervision and corrections department (CSCD) director grants the authorization. (b) This section does not authorize a CSO to carry a firearm while off-duty. (c) The carrying of a handgun or other firearm by CSOs shall be done strictly in accordance with Texas Government Code §76.0051 and the authorization, policy, and procedures promulgated by the director as set forth in subsection (e) of this rule. (d) Prior to undergoing training to carry a firearm, a CSO shall meet the following qualifications. (1) The CSO shall be examined by a psychologist or psychiatrist licensed in the state of Texas and declared in writing by the psychologist or psychiatrist, using TCLEOSE approved forms, to be in satisfactory psychological and emotional health for the carrying of a weapon in the performance of the CSO's duties for which a certificate of firearms proficiency is sought. (2) The CSO shall execute an instrument wherein the CSO acknowledges: (A) It is unlawful for any person to possess any firearm or ammunition who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; or who has been convicted of any domestic violence crime, misdemeanor, or felony; or who has been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions; (B) It is the CSOs' responsibility to immediately inform their supervisor and the CSCD director of any arrest, charges, or conviction related to such crimes; and (C) The CSO has never been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; has never been convicted of any domestic violence crime, misdemeanor, or felony; or has never been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions. (e) Each CSCD that elects to authorize certain, or all, of its CSOs to carry firearms in accordance with the foregoing requirements shall adopt written policies and procedures defining which of its CSOs have authority to carry firearms and the limitations that apply to their carrying and use of firearms. The CSCDs shall submit written policies and procedures for review by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Community Justice Assistance Division (TDCJ CJAD) director. The policies and procedures shall specify: (1) The firearm training and qualification requirements; (2) The handling, use, and storage of firearms; (3) The types of firearms authorized; and (4) The process for reporting and investigating incidents related to the possession or use of firearms by the CSOs. (f) Each CSCD that elects to authorize CSOs to carry or use less than lethal weapons, such as aerosol sprays, chemical agents, restraining devices, or stun guns, shall adopt written policies and procedures defining which of its CSOs have authority to carry such weapons and the limitations that apply to their carrying and use. The CSCDs shall submit written policies and procedures for review by the TDCJ CJAD director. The policies and procedures shall specify: (1) The training, qualification, and certification requirements; (2) The handling, use, and storage of the particular weapons and devices involved; (3) The types and relevant specifications that apply to the less than lethal weapons that are authorized; and (4) The process for reporting and investigating incidents related to the possession or use of less than lethal weapons, such as aerosol sprays, restraining devices, or stun guns. (g) CSCDs that elect not to authorize CSOs to carry firearms or use less than lethal weapons in the performance of their duties shall adopt a written policy statement disallowing such practices, as applicable. Each new CSO shall be notified of these policies prior to an offer of employment by the CSCD. (h) Requirements of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. (1) The CSOs authorized by the CSCD to make application to the TCLEOSE for certification in firearms proficiency in accordance with the above provisions shall use TCLEOSE approved forms and provide copies to the TDCJ CJAD and the CSCD. (2) CSCDs shall conduct a comprehensive background check on all CSOs seeking firearms certification. (3) CSCDs shall maintain records of background information obtained on all CSOs seeking firearms certification. (4) CSCDs shall maintain records of annually required requalification on all CSOs obtaining firearms certification. (5) CSCDs shall notify the TCLEOSE if a CSO's authority to carry a firearm is rescinded. (6) CSCDs authorizing CSOs to carry firearms shall notify the TCLEOSE of the name, address, telephone, and fax numbers of the CSCD director. (7) Each CSCD shall allow the TCLEOSE and other law enforcement agencies access to records pertaining to firearms for auditing and investigation purposes. (i) Community Supervision Officer Training and Qualification Requirements. (1) CSOs shall not be granted permission to carry a firearm in the performance of their duties unless that CSO has completed a firearms training program approved by the TCLEOSE and has been issued a certificate of firearms proficiency by the TCLEOSE as provided in subsection (a) of this rule. The firearms training program shall be completed within six months after obtaining the TCLEOSE psychological release as required in subsection (d)(1) of this rule. (2) Firearms training provided to CSOs shall be designed to prepare the CSOs to carry such weapons while conducting field visits, participating in community based criminal justice initiatives with law enforcement agencies, and in dealing with the safety and self-defense considerations related to such activities. (3) CSO qualification of weapons usage, a periodic proficiency test, and documentation of training shall be completed in the presence of a TCLEOSE approved instructor on a yearly basis in addition to the required TCLEOSE certificate of firearms proficiency. (4) Specific firearms and other weapons training course guidelines and recommendations shall be published in the TDCJ CJAD Weapons Procedures Guidebook. (j) Ownership, Inspection, and Maintenance. (1) CSOs authorized to carry weapons shall provide their own weapons. (2) CSCDs shall appoint an individual within the department to be responsible for yearly inspection and maintenance programs for firearms used by CSOs. (k) Types of Firearms Authorized. (1) CSOs are authorized to carry the following weapons: (A) Double action revolvers; or (B) Semi-automatic pistols. (2) Barrel length of weapon shall be between two and five inches. (3) Approved cartridges shall be: (A) 9mm caliber; (B) .38 Special; (C) .357 Magnum; (D) .357 Sig; (E) .40 caliber; (F) 10mm caliber; (G) .45 caliber; or (H) .380 caliber. (4) Ammunition. All carried ammunition shall be factory original loads of bullet weight between 85 and 230 grains, per Sporting Arms Ammunition Manufacturer Institute (SAAMI) Guidelines. (l) Reports to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Community Justice Assistance Division. (1) Each CSCD shall have a written Use of Force policy and a written procedure for reporting and investigating each incident where a firearm or less than lethal weapon is discharged, used, or drawn on an individual. The term "to draw" means to unholster a firearm in preparation for use in self-defense against a perceived threat. (2) Such procedure shall include: (A) Notification of incidents; (B) Procedures for interaction with outside entities, such as local law enforcement and media; (C) Internal investigation procedures; and (D) Employee support components. (3) Notification of Incidents to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Emergency Action Center (EAC). Serious incidents, such as a CSO's drawing of a firearm on an individual or the unauthorized use of a less than lethal weapon by a CSO, shall be promptly reported to the EAC (936) 437-6600 and in all events within 24 hours of the incident. Incidents involving the discharge of a firearm shall be reported to the EAC immediately, if possible, and in all circumstances within three hours of occurrence. A preliminary written report of each of the above-described incidents shall be sent to the TDCJ CJAD within ten days of the occurrence.