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Armed Security Guards in California: Regulations and Policies

Last Updated February 12, 2024

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California Penal Code Section 196: Use of Firearms

Under the California Penal Code Section 196, armed security guards in California are allowed to use their firearms only in limited circumstances. They can use their firearm when it is reasonably necessary to protect themselves or others from an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm. The force used should be proportionate to the threat, and all reasonable alternatives should be exhausted before resorting to deadly force.

Regulations and Policies

Armed Security Guard Companies Policies and Procedures

Aside from state regulations, armed security guard companies in California may have their policies and procedures regarding the use of firearms by their guards. These policies and procedures may be stricter than state law, and companies must ensure that their security guards receive appropriate training on firearms safety, use of force regulations, and situational awareness.

Interpretation and Implementation of Regulations

Interpretation of the California Penal Code Section 196 is a crucial aspect of the training provided to armed security guards in California. Guards must understand that the use of deadly force is only permitted in very limited circumstances and that any unnecessary use of force can result in legal repercussions. Armed security guard companies in California must ensure that their guards comply with all applicable federal laws related to the ownership and use of firearms. Implementation of these regulations by armed security guard companies in California may vary depending on the specific company’s policies and procedures.

Specific Situations Where Armed Security Guards Can Use Their Gun

According to the California Penal Code section 1960, armed security guards are allowed to use their gun in the following situations:

  • In self-defense or in defense of another person from imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
  • To prevent the escape of a suspect who the security guard has probable cause to believe poses a significant threat of death or serious bodily harm to others.
  • To apprehend a suspect who the security guard has probable cause to believe has committed a felony involving the use of a deadly weapon or force and the suspect poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm to others.

Additional California Laws and Regulations

Other California laws and regulations may apply to armed security guards’ use of firearms, including those related to firearms licensing, training, and registration. Furthermore, armed security guard companies in California typically have their own policies and procedures regarding the use of firearms by their guards. These policies may be stricter than state law and may include additional requirements for training, certification, and ongoing education.

Federal Laws and Regulations

Armed security guards in California are subject to federal laws that regulate the ownership and use of firearms, such as the Gun Control Act of 1968 and the National Firearms Act of 1934. These laws impose restrictions on the sale, possession, and use of firearms, including certain types of firearms, background checks for individuals purchasing firearms, and more.

Conclusion

The use of firearms by armed security guards in California is heavily regulated, and armed security guard companies are required to comply with these regulations to ensure the safety of the public and their clients. The use of force should be proportionate to the threat, and armed security guard companies must ensure that their guards are appropriately trained and follow strict guidelines when it comes to the use of force, including the use of firearms. Federal laws also regulate the ownership and use of firearms by armed security guards in California.

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