Are Security Guards Allowed to Carry Guns?

Not all security guards are allowed to carry guns

There are more stringent training classes and screenings in place for armed security guards. Many companies opt for unarmed security guards- perhaps not wanting to present a harsh brand to customers, or looking to follow rules for local gun-free zones (e.g. in some malls).

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However, those security guards allowed to carry guns are very highly trained for customized security needs. To get an idea of the high level of training standard set in place for armed guards, just take a look at the California requirements for security guards, available online. While The State of California, Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services manual has strict requirements for all aspects of any security guard jobs, their expectations for armed security guards are more detailed, with stricter screening criteria and more training requirements. The Firearms Training Manual portion of these California standards specifies exactly what is needed to become an armed security guard in California. These strict training requirements range anywhere from thorough understanding of the use of firearms to de-escalation strategies to analyzing civil and criminal case studies.

ASAP Security closely follows all of this necessary training specified by California so their armed security guards can obtain the required firearms qualification cards. In addition, ASAP Security has its security officer candidates go through extensive drug, background, and credit check screening. Since many of ASAP Security’s licensed officers are former military or law enforcement personnel, they have that additional background of extensive training and discipline.

 ASAP Security, following these California standards, teaches their armed security guards extensively in the maintenance, transport, and use of weapons in their work. In addition, guard candidates must know the moral and legal aspects in the use of weaponry, as required in the California manual. ASAP Security guards are also schooled in the avoidance of deadly force, the principles of de-escalation, visual and verbal communication, physical control levels, and the civil and criminal liabilities resulting in cases of shooting incidents. The use of other non-lethal weapons- such as a baton, stun gun/taser, and pepper spray- is also studied. In thoroughly understanding the correct use of weaponry, the avoidance of deadly force, and de-escalation techniques, a trained armed security guard has all the tools to correctly assess various situations so as to promptly respond in the best possible way on behalf of their client.

Per California’s Bureau of Security and Investigative Services manual, ASAP Security’s armed officers professionally fulfill their job duties based on the security guard code to PROTECT people and property, PREVENT incidents before they happen, and OBSERVE AND REPORT any incidents or offenses that do take place.


There are many businesses that choose the option of armed security guards to achieve the highest level of defense possible- to protect events, properties, workplaces, data, or personnel. Businesses that often choose armed security guards are:

Banks and financial institutions

That need to prevent theft or workplace violence

Schools and campuses

That are finding armed security becoming essential due to a drastic 450% increase in school shootings in the past 30 years

Construction sites

That have expensive equipment left after hours or on weekends

Businesses in high-risk, high crime areas

Guest or VIP protection situations

All of ASAP Security’s quality security guards, armed or unarmed, are fully licensed by the BSIS

Residential/gated communities

That are targeted by thieves or trespassers

Under-policed areas

Where police response time to trespass, crime or emergencies is slow