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4. Armed School Security Officers

Armed school security officer eligibility requirements can be found in Virginia Code 22.1-280.2:1. The armed SSO must meet all of the following criteria and be a certified SSO before they can carry a firearm in the performance of their duties.


Local school boards and private or religious schools may employ school security officers, as defined in § 9.1-101, for the purposes set forth therein. Such school security officer may carry a firearm in the performance of their duties if the SSO:  

  • Is a former law enforcement officer within 10 years from hire date with the school; 
  • Retired or resigned from their position in law-enforcement in good standing; 
  • Meets the training and qualifications standards described in subsection C of § 18.2-308.016; and
  • Provides proof of training completion in Active Shooter Emergency Response, Emergency Evacuation Procedure, and Threat Assessment; 
  • If training is provided by law enforcement, it shall be of the locality in which he is employed as an SSO. 


  • Local school board or private or religious school shall solicit input from the chief law enforcement officer of the locality to ensure the SSO is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing, purchasing, or transporting a firearm. 
  • The local school board or private or religious school must grant the SSO authority to carry a firearm in the performance of his duties. 

Current law enforcement, current or former military or military police and individuals with an armed endorsement through private security or a concealed weapons permit do not satisfy the Code requirements to be an armed SSO.