Armed Security Guard Training:
New York, for example, mandates 71 hours of training, while Kentucky has no training requirements for armed guards. In many states, armed guards must undergo firearms training in addition to the basic training unarmed guards receive.
The content of firearms training varies, with some states, such as California, mandating lessons on use of force, while others require only a few hours of target practice. Lack of consistent regulation and training has put the public – and armed guards – at risk. States have allowed people prohibited by law from owning a gun to work as armed guards.
The presence of an armed security guard increases the chance of violence in bank robberies, FBI data shows. Armed guards can work in some states even with restraining orders and domestic violence convictions.
In 15 states, a person can become an armed guard without any firearms training. Learn more at the Center for Investigative Reporting.
It’s clear that the vast majority of armed security guards – many of whom work long hours for minimum wage – do their jobs without resorting to violence or breaking regulations. Their very presence at a business may deter crime. Among the thousands of security companies, big and small, most operate by following the rules and training their guards to state requirements.
Yet across the country, states do little to regulate the hired guns assigned to protect property, according to the CIR investigation with CNN, which included dozens of interviews and an analysis of thousands of pages of disciplinary records, licensing databases and shooting reports.
Fourteen states do not license or issue permits to armed security guard applicants. And nine states do not conduct a federal criminal background check, allowing anyone to work in the field regardless of his or her history, including potentially dangerous individuals, such as domestic abusers and felons.
Watch this Armed Security Guard shoot in the line of duty.
Explaining Armed Security Guards with a quick Marine Corps story.
There’s one thing that every Marine can tell you they remember from bootcamp or infantry training school – and that is “Tracer rounds work both ways.”
Why is that important or something to remember? Because when you’re an 18 year old recruit trying to become a U.S. Marine and you finally get that day where you get to go to the rifle range – you know that you’re halfway done with bootcamp. However, as you know, most guys have fired a gun (maybe not an M-16) before entering bootcamp.
But when you get to do your night time live fire introduction and they bring out the “tracer rounds” – WOW! – Now there’s a sight most civilians don’t get to see every day. The tracer rounds are outright brilliant and they light up the sky clearly letting you see where your bullets are hitting in complete darkness.
…And as you’re starting to feel like Tony Montana in Scarface screaming aloud “Say Hello to my little friend you $%#$@*#!”….. Your drill instructor calmly but firmly yells in your ear – “At ease Private… these tracer rounds work both ways!”
What did he mean by that? Well, if you can see exactly where your rounds are hitting in the dead of night – the enemy can see exactly where your rounds are coming from. Now that was a scary thought that took a lot of fun out of shooting those tracer rounds.
The quick and harsh reality is that if you ever need to pull your gun in the line of duty, it usually means that you’re about an inch away from death to begin with.
C’mon, seriously, there is a lot of responsibility in being an armed security guard because you just can’t go around pulling your gun out on people. You have to be very familiar with the laws and use of deadly force or you can find yourself in a prison cell wondering how you got there.
We’ll stop with the serious stuff and show you what tracer rounds look like:
at night – also cool… (mild language in this video)
Bullets work both ways!
– The life you save just might be your own.
Pretty cool, Huh? But at the same time, those tracer rounds confirm our Marine Corps story above; bullets work both ways and if you want to be an Armed Security Guard or Officer – then you better have your wits about you and you had better not screw up when drawing your weapon on or off of duty.
We’re not trying to say that you shouldn’t become an armed security officer – but we are saying that you shouldn’t go out there unprepared to do the job. You need to be properly trained, you need to train regularly, you need to be able to keep your cool under pressure, and you need to be totally in the right before you ever think of pulling that trigger.
Remember, outside of just doing your job, there are human lives at stake when there is a gun involved. You can not only wrongfully take the life of another human being if you make a mistake or use bad decision making, but you can wind up doing years in prison for an event that was over and done with in 15 seconds.
Maybe before you get yourself all worked up and dive in to an armed guard job – you might want to take a moment and make sure that you’re mentally and physically prepared for this line of duty.
As the video shows and states higher on this page, some places only pay a little bit more money per hour ($7.50 vs. $9.00) for their armed employees. So it might be a good idea to test the waters first as an unarmed security officer until you know for a fact that this kind of work is right for you.
The dirty trick of all of this is that many companies will hire you, put a gun on your holster and shove you out on the streets with very little training to back you up. Yes, it’s easy for you and easy for them – and the pay might even be a little better – but if you screw up and land yourself in prison… What’s it all worth to you then?
The charts below will tell you about how some states require more hours of training for a person manicurist than they do for an armed security guard. You can read more about this study by clicking here.
Few states make any attempt to check whether guard applicants have abused drugs or alcohol or exhibit mental health problems and a predilection for violence. As you could imagine, weak laws and and a lack of oversight in those areas can really cause problems for both the officer in question and those that he must enforce laws upon. More than two dozen states do not check whether security guard applicants are prohibited by court order from possessing guns.
Background checks conducted by CIR identified armed guards with criminal records, restraining orders and domestic violence-related convictions that were overlooked before they were given permission to work in the security industry. That is absolutely horrible and inexcusable in this day and age. Even local churches conduct background checks on employees or volunteers that work around children. But to not thoroughly check the records of a person that will be enforcing laws with a weapon in public – there is no excuse for such shoddy management. A review of records in four states – Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, California and Illinois – revealed that regulators sometimes took months or years to discipline armed guards charged with or convicted of violent crimes, including armed robbery and arms dealing.
Another class of guards gets even less scrutiny from regulators – so-called proprietary guards. While security companies provide guards under contract to clients, proprietary guards are employed directly by businesses, from major retail chain stores to bars and neighborhood tow yards. Because these guards do not work for security guard companies, 31 states do not require them to have a license, get training or go through a criminal background check. You’ve probably seen one of these guards before; they’ll usually work in expensive malls, stores, luxury clothing establishments or other similar high-class shops.
How much do Armed Security Guards make in pay, wages or salary?
Average salaries for armed security guards varied slightly within most of the U.S. regions in 2013. In the South, they earned the highest salaries, $36,000, in Washington, D.C., and the lowest, $26,000, in Louisiana, according to Indeed. Those in Hawaii and California made $21,000 and $33,000 per year, respectively.
Issues concerning Armed Security Guards and their level of training
• Armed security guards have become a ubiquitous presence in modern life, projecting an image of safety amid public fears of mass shootings and terrorism. But often, it’s the guards themselves who pose the threat.
• Across the U.S., a haphazard system of lax laws, minimal oversight and almost no accountability puts guns in the hands of guards who endanger public safety, a yearlong investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN has found.
• Men and women who have never fired a gun in their lives can set off on patrol in uniform, wearing a badge and carrying a loaded weapon, with only a few hours of training, if any. In 15 states, guards can openly carry guns on the job without any firearms training at all.
• Near Atlanta, a former sheriff’s deputy accused of erratic and threatening behavior at his old job later gunned down an unarmed man at his new job – patrolling an apartment complex.
• In Arizona, an armed guard prohibited by law from possessing a gun shot a teenager who was helping shoplift food from a convenience store, paralyzing the teen from the waist down.
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