Security guards can provide armed or unarmed security services, but not every security guard is legally authorized to carry a firearm on the job. So, the short answer is yes, security guards carry guns in many states across the United States. It is important to note that the legality of security guards carrying guns varies by state, and guards will need to meet their state’s training requirements and other criteria before they can legally work as armed security professionals.
If you are considering hiring an armed guard for your property, you will need to know what requirements to look for in a security provider. It is vital for anyone considering armed security to make sure they only hire authorized, licensed guards from reputable companies to avoid any liabilities.
What States Allow Security Guards to Carry Guns?
Each state is allowed to set its own laws and requirements for armed security officers. In California, guards must complete a 14-hour training program on top of the required 40 hours of guard training to acquire a BSIS firearms (Bureau of Security and Investigative Services) permit.
In New York, security guards need to complete 47 hours of training and hold a valid New York State pistol license before they can apply for a Special Armed Guard Registration Card.
In Arizona, armed guards must complete 23 hours of training, including a 16-hour firearm training course. Then, they can apply for their armed guard card.
Before hiring any security in your state, research requirements and verify that the company you work with complies with local laws and regulations. The last thing you want is to hire someone who is not even a licensed guard and run the risk of them harming someone or themselves.
Can Security Guards Carry Guns Off-Duty?
A person can have an armed guard card and still not hold a personal firearm license. Likewise, holding a firearm license does not qualify someone as a registered armed security guard. While armed guards can carry guns while on patrol, they may not be permitted to carry a firearm when off duty if they do not have the appropriate license. Most guards’ guns are part of their security equipment; however, they are not always the registered owners of the firearms they use at work. Therefore, they would not be permitted to continue carrying it off duty.
What Is an Armed Guard Card?
This is a card that most states issue to officially license someone as an armed security guard. People who are unfamiliar with security policies may unintentionally believe that a person who has a firearm license is automatically a guard. It’s important to know that guards must be licensed in their state, and they should all hold proper registration according to state and local guidelines.
The armed guard card is issued to a candidate after they have completed the necessary firearm training in their state. It is not the same as a security guard card, which licenses someone to work as an unarmed security officer. In addition, be sure to ask a company about its in-house training and hiring requirements for any guard. You should also cross-reference the company’s training requirements with your state’s regulations.
Armed vs. Unarmed Security: Which Type Is Right for You?
The decision to hire armed guards shouldn’t be made lightly. These types of security guards generally cost more than their unarmed counterparts, and they may be unnecessary in some situations. While the idea behind their presence is to increase feelings of safety, the opposite can occur in certain settings. People may see a guard with a firearm and assume a location is more dangerous than it actually is.
When it comes to choosing the right type of security guard, you should consider whether your situation merits the need for an armed professional or a group of them. Businesses that handle high-risk assets, like artwork and jewelry, or those in areas with high crime rates benefit the most from hiring armed guards.
Other examples include those who are hosting a large public event in which armed security may help ensure everyone’s safety. For companies transporting high-value assets, the presence of an armed guard can deter potential thieves.
In some cases, schools have also begun hiring armed security to protect the faculty and students on site. Although schools are generally considered low-risk, recent events have prompted leadership to take a more proactive approach.
Hire the Highest Quality Security Guards with Silbar Security
Silbar Security is among the leaders in the professional security industry in the United States. We provide armed and unarmed guards for businesses, buildings, events, and venues nationwide. All of our security guards complete training at the in-house Silbar Academy in addition to meeting their own state’s requirements, ensuring that our team can provide nothing but the highest level of service.