Armed Security: Liability Carrying Your Own Firearm?

Armed Security: Liability Carrying Your Own Firearm?

This is a discussion on Armed Security: Liability Carrying Your Own Firearm? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am not sure if this is the apropriate forum for this thread so I appologize if so. Anyways, I have been considering getting a ...

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Thread: Armed Security: Liability Carrying Your Own Firearm?

  1. #1
    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    Armed Security: Liability Carrying Your Own Firearm?

    I am not sure if this is the apropriate forum for this thread so I appologize if so.

    Anyways, I have been considering getting a part time job working in security. I have noticed however that most companies in my area require the SO to have thier own firearm. My handgun permit instructor, who is a LEO had said an armed guard (in Tennessee) is essentialy a private citizen. Regardless, is there any liability in carrying your own firearm in an armed job vs a company issue?

    I talked to an armed SO who made the whole defense of, "its your gun. You train with it, clean it and know it." But beyond that had no other response. To me it says lack of accountability. Granted, YOU are responsible if you were to use your weapon but to me if its your personal weapon it seems more like a company can wash thier hands of you.
    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you can not confirm their validity."
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    Member Array ROFL SQUAD's Avatar
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    Whatever state law and company SOP says.

    I'm thinking if you're working for any sort of decent company you'll be using theirs.
    If you're going to carry one weapon, might as well carry two, because as the saying goes, "Two is one, and one is none."

    "Liberals can decline or whine, but I will still carry and conceal mine." - Cold Warrior. Excellent quote good sir!

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    Member Array Ionracas's Avatar
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    That is what Im thinking.

    I came across one company that might issue a firearm but Im speculating based on my conversation with the SO. She knew it was a 9mm but couldnt tell me what it was. Not that she refused, she flat out didnt know.

    I know in most cases SOs are your typical observe and report types (not all of them) but there is no excise I can think of for not knowing the weapon you carry, especialy proffesionaly.
    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you can not confirm their validity."
    -Abraham Lincoln

    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky. dangerous animals."
    -Agent K

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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    It doesn't matter if it's your firearm or the company's. If you're involved in a shooting incident with it and things go awry, the outcome won't be good.

    Jones, who represents Bowman, has filed a $70 million lawsuit on behalf of his client against Walker, the guard service and the store.


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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    If the weapon is taken as evidence and it is yours, the company is not out anything. If it is theirs they have to have a replacement for who ever is working that post.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  6. #6
    sgb
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    Do you really want a company issued firearm? Most of the ones I've seen were sadly maintained or badly abused. The world of private security is mostly about the lowest cost and creating the illusion of authority.
    Black Knight likes this.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROFL SQUAD View Post
    Whatever state law and company SOP says.

    I'm thinking if you're working for any sort of decent company you'll be using theirs.
    Exactly. Trained, insured, and bonded through the company. Carrying a personal firearm for duty would be a contractor IMO. You definitely need to find out more. Contact your regulatory agency in your state, or the attorney general's office. There are plenty of risky jobs in America....the ones that put you at risk before signing up need to be regulated or reported.

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    Member Array GJ44's Avatar
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    In the world of armed security, I believe your gun or theirs is a minor detail in a shooting. Personally, I'll take mine any day. It's what I trained with and take care of. Here you must qualify with the gun you'll be using and that includes qualifying with two if you choose to carry a backup.

    The real issue is, what kind of insurance policy the company has for its guards in a "justified" shooting. You'll also need to look into your own insurance coverage as well because you'll need it! As you look into Security companies, that coverage should be one of your main concerns and a topic of discussion. Typically, these are low paying jobs and I know a few guys that left one company for a better per-hour rate at another. It wasn't long before they returned to their original job because there was no support or minimal coverage insurance. That's a very big deal! Oh, and it better be a "good" shoot or any company will hang you out to dry....

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    There are many small towns out there who do not supply weapons to their police. Never heard of any liability.

    Michael

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    sgb
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    Quote Originally Posted by GJ44 View Post
    In the world of armed security, I believe your gun or theirs is a minor detail in a shooting. Personally, I'll take mine any day. It's what I trained with and take care of. Here you must qualify with the gun you'll be using and that includes qualifying with two if you choose to carry a backup.

    The real issue is, what kind of insurance policy the company has for its guards in a "justified" shooting. You'll also need to look into your own insurance coverage as well because you'll need it! As you look into Security companies, that coverage should be one of your main concerns and a topic of discussion. Typically, these are low paying jobs and I know a few guys that left one company for a better per-hour rate at another. It wasn't long before they returned to their original job because there was no support or minimal coverage insurance. That's a very big deal! Oh, and it better be a "good" shoot or any company will hang you out to dry....
    In my opinion one can pretty much guarantee most companies are going to throw the guard to the wolves regardless.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

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  11. #11
    New Member Array Memphisman's Avatar
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    Hello,

    A friend of mine emailed me a link to this post and after reading it, I wanted to reply. I owned a security company for 20 years and will
    probably own another sometime this year. I am an ex deputy sheriff and a working armed security officer.

    I went through all the hoops to register and now I'm ready to reply... here goes.

    Liability: There is really no difference who owns the gun, you or the company. If you shoot someone wrongfully, who owns the gun is not
    going to matter that much.

    You will be just as criminally liable no matter what. From a civil liability standpoint, it will not be that much of an issue who owns the gun either. You and the company are both going to be sued.

    The way I did things at my company, I issued handguns and allowed the line officers to carry personally owned handguns if the handgun met basic criteria of being a quality firearm that was acceptable for defensive/duty use.

    I was VERY, VERY, VERY RARE in that I issued the handgun. Usually, only large guard services issue handguns and then they issue what ever was purchased from the lowest bidder. I tried to provide a quality service and issued a quality handgun. If a shotgun was appropriate, I
    issued the shotgun as well. I required issued ammo only, for liability reasons. We issued whatever ammo the local police issued to make it
    court defensible.

    My insurance company did not like the idea of me issuing handguns because the company is responsible for the gun 24x7. In other words, if you managed to get yourself into the trick bag with our gun off duty, we were in there with you to a certain degree from a civil liability standpoint since you used our gun.

    I had pretty basic, but zero tolerance rules on issued handguns and it worked out well.

    My personal advice to you is this: Don't over think the liability thing... it may cause you to freeze when you need to act to save a life...including yours.

    Next, I would carry a personally owned firearm of a good quality defensive caliber and get a good duty rig for it. A good level 3 retention
    holster and a quality duty belt and keepers are a safety issue when working in uniform. I think Gould & Goodrich has an affordable level 3
    holster for under $ 100.00. Stay away from the Blackhawk ones... the Feds did a recall on theirs... there was a reason for it.

    If you carry company issued stuff, you will be equipped with the lowest bidder stuff, a gun that has probably not been maintained well and was probably the cheapest thing they find... usually a Taurus .38 revolver.

    As far as "the company is gonna abandon you if you shoot someone" stuff... Please, someone tell me how this can be accomplished (short of using time travel to go back and sever the ties of employment before they are formed).

    If you are working for XYZ security and shoot someone (lawfully or not), there is virtually no way XYZ security is going to be able to escape being held accountable for your actions because you were an employee at the time you pulled the trigger.

    I have known quite a few companies that had officer involved shootings and none of them were able to avoid/escape liability when one of thiers shot someone.

    As far as what your trainer told you... he's partially right or told you part of the story, not the full one about your legals status when working.
    There are state laws and several attorney general opinions that spell out your legal authority. I won't get into all the points of it because its beyond the scope of this quick question.

    Just the basics... in Tennessee, its true you are not a sworn officer or a government employee..... but state law specifies your duties and part of those are to enforce rules, regulations, local and state laws on private property. This gives you some extra legal standing when/if you do respond to a
    problem on your turf. The mid 80s-ish "observe and report stuff" that has been a staple of popular comedy movies is pretty much gone these days... if you merely observe and report and stand idly by while a someone gets hurt due to your inaction, you'll probably get sued too.

    If you would like to email me direct through the system, I'll be happy to send you some links or answer more specific questions.

    Here's wishing you all the best.... Stay safe!!

    Terry in Memphis


    Quote Originally Posted by Ionracas View Post
    I am not sure if this is the apropriate forum for this thread so I appologize if so.

    Anyways, I have been considering getting a part time job working in security. I have noticed however that most companies in my area require the SO to have thier own firearm. My handgun permit instructor, who is a LEO had said an armed guard (in Tennessee) is essentialy a private citizen. Regardless, is there any liability in carrying your own firearm in an armed job vs a company issue?

    I talked to an armed SO who made the whole defense of, "its your gun. You train with it, clean it and know it." But beyond that had no other response. To me it says lack of accountability. Granted, YOU are responsible if you were to use your weapon but to me if its your personal weapon it seems more like a company can wash thier hands of you.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    As sgb said, "Do you really want a company issued firearm? Most of the ones I've seen were sadly maintained or badly abused. The world of private security is mostly about the lowest cost and creating the illusion of authority." I worked in private security for nearly 15 years most of it armed. I preferred to carry my own. I knew the condition. I knew it would work when needed. The one year I had to use a company gun was bad news. The S&W 64 was an old severely used range gun. It misfired on one chargehole so I effectively had 5 rounds that were good to go and 1 maybe. The company was called and informed that a local gunsmith could take care of this for less than $100 at the time. The company said don't bother as long as it is good enough to qualify with (which it was barely). That was my last year doing private security as I soon became a Dept. of the Army Police Officer. I would rather carry my own and know it will work instead of a company "maybe" gun. I would rather be alive and concerned about liability instead of in a box and having no more worries.

  13. #13
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    The only time you will run into an extra liability issue is if you claim the weapon malfunctioned and thats why Joe Suspect is now dead.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    My $.02

    I also have a bit of experience working armed security. I worked for an alarm response company that issued a 3" detective special at the beginning of your tour, and had to be signed in at the end. Absoloutly NO personal firearms allowed. One company had a stock of model 10 revolvers for issue but guards could use their own firearm as long as they qualified with it.The model 10's while some were fairly old were well kept, and maintained. Only company shotguns, and rifles were allowed. Another company required each guard purchase their own firearm and issued a voucher for half the cost. After 6 months the gun was yours.

    My current part time gig allows me to carry what ever I want... Here in the sunshine state security guards are limited to .38spl, and 9MM. I have seen security guards carrying everything from S&W model 15's and 10's to amscor, and rossi's. Also seen security carrying mostly Glocks, Sprinfields, and M&P's.... but I've also seen a few high points, and jennings...

    Go figure...
    Last edited by Secret Spuk; July 24th, 2012 at 02:41 AM.

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    As an employee of a company that allows you to carry as part of the job, regardless who purchases the firearm, you are an agent of that company; therefore it bears responsibility for your actions. Also, any lawyer worth 2 cents knows the money is with the company, not a low-pay employee, and will list the company as the primary source of deep pockets.
    Secret Spuk likes this.
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    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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