Find out what’s working – and what’s not – in states’ efforts to regulate armed security guards.
If Arizona had required gun-ownership background checks for security guards, one guard might not have begun work at a Circle K convenience store where he later shot and paralyzed an unarmed teenager.
Twelve states that reported that they are running guard applicants through an FBI records check actually are obtaining only a fingerprint-based criminal background check.
Private security companies have hired felons, people with mental health issues and former police officers accused of abuse. There are horror stories from nearly every state, and they all point to the same issue: an industry lacking oversight and accountability.
Only four states require armed-guard applicants to undergo a mental health evaluation, which is standard for law enforcement officers.
In Arizona and other states, legislators are exploring regulatory changes for armed security guards to address problems exposed by our Hired Guns investigation.