Can Security Guards Carry Guns?

There are various types of security guards. The differences between the security officers include the objects of their protection, duties, equipment, training, risks, and other aspects. Depending on these factors, different security guard types require different tools to provide services and perform their jobs successfully. So the answer to the question of can security guards carry guns is yes, but not all kinds of security guards and not in every workplace. Alert Patrol provides various security services and has a team of experienced armed and unarmed security guards. 

What types of weapons can security guards carry?

Security guard equipment includes various tools. CCTV and smartphones are often essential parts of the equipment used for monitoring and communication. They provide communication between security officers in different spots of property and serve to notify law enforcement about the incidents that take place.

Depending on the industry they work in, the part of their equipment can also be batons, pepper spray, tasers, and other non-lethal weapons. However, these tools are effective in temporarily disabling offenders and discouraging potential lawbreakers even if they are not used. For example, in cases of stun gun vs. pepper spray, the one that will be more efficient depends on the situation. Stun guns require a physical touch to immobilize the attacker, while pepper spray causes discomfort and temporary blindness from a distance.

A similar device to a stun gun is a taser. Both discharge an electric shock, but a taser doesn’t require physical touch, and their range is from 15 feet (for non-law enforcement tasers) to 34 feet tasers (used by law enforcement). Same as a stun gun, tasers provide shock waves that cause pain, muscle paralysis, and temporary inabilities.

Another tool that security guards are allowed to carry is a baton. While it’s considered a non-lethal weapon, it can potentially cause serious bodily harm. To carry a baton, a security officer must attend and complete an 8-hour training from an instructor approved by a state.

All the mentioned weapons, although not considered a potential to cause significant injuries, are efficient in deterring potential criminals and restraining them until law enforcement guards carry guns

So, can security guards carry guns?

Yes. There are some places and individuals that face high-security risks which require armed security guards. The armed security guard’s duties include physical protection from various safety risks that usually involve attackers and violent people or securing properties with an increased risk. Armed patrol is often hired to secure hospitals, banks, and government buildings.

However, not every security guard can carry firearms. Being an armed security guard requires a certain authorization armed guard license. The authorization process and requirements vary in different states. For example, California law requires a BSIS firearms (Bureau of Security and Investigative Services) permit, which encompasses a 16 hours-training. Becoming an armed security guard in Texas requires a successfully completed Level II (basic security guard training) and Level III training for firearms which encompasses 30 hours of classes. In Florida, to be a security guard with a gun, a person must possess a Statewide Firearms License (G) which considers a three days training.

A firearms license is a document that permits security guards to legally obtain, carry and expose a firearm in their duties. This armed guard license implies that a security guard is also capable of good judgment and aware that the use of a weapon is justified only in critical situations. 

In every USA state, permission to carry firearms requires a person’s background check. This implies that a person that applies for a license must have a clear history of violence and criminal activities. To get an armed security guard license, candidates have to fulfill numerous predispositions regarding their psychological state and attitude.

Can security guards carry guns outside of their work?

Even after receiving a permit to become armed guards, officers must continue their education and undertake mandatory training to obtain their licenses. This continuous training ensures that a person is competent to continue carrying and using guns according to propositions and regulations.

That also applies to security patrols that carry a gun as a part of their security patrol equipment. Although they are allowed to carry a gun when patrolling the property and distant areas that property encompasses, carrying a gun outside the property they are hired to patrol is against the state law and, therefore, indictable.

People often wonder can security guards carry guns outside their work or after they stop working as security guards. Unlike law enforcement, the moment armed guards stop performing their duties, they are not permitted to carry or use a firearm. The license they acquire only refers to the job and doesn’t include any occasion outside their workplace and beyond working hours. 

Armed vs. Unarmed security guards: Which should you choose?

Bank security guards almost always carry firearms. As banks are places that operate with significant amounts of money, they are an attractive target for thieves and robbers. Also, banks are usually places where potential criminals enter by carrying firearms themselves. Therefore, banks are an excellent example of where having an armed and unarmed security guard makes a big difference.

Having armed guards on site has an impact on discouraging potential offenders. When burglars evaluate their prey, they consider the level of security they have to overcome. Knowing that a place is secured by armed guards significantly reduces the chances that the place will be an alternative for robbery. 

Therefore, in some industries and businesses, having armed or unarmed security is not negotiable. Sometimes the favor that armed guards can provide in preventing incidents and controlling a situation with high safety risks is incomparable with propositions that unarmed security officers can provide. However, not all businesses and persons require an armed security guard on site, and for some, having an unarmed security guard is sufficient to discourage offenders and maintain security.

Final thoughts

Being an armed guard and having an armed guard on a site is a great responsibility for both. Handling guns requires a fundamental understanding of this weapon’s danger and responsibilities. On the other hand, having an armed security guard as protection is necessary for some industries and for securing personal safety for individuals with higher safety risks. 

If you or your business require a certain type of security but don’t know what to look for when hiring a security company, feel free to contact us to discuss with the professionals about the security services we provide and how we can meet your security needs. Our team of security specialists is experienced in evaluating security risks and tailoring a personalized approach to cover all the security requirements of our clients.