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How to Get an Armed Security Guard License in Texas

Last Updated May 27, 2024

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What is an armed security guard?

An armed security guard is a professional responsible for providing security services while being equipped with a firearm. These individuals are employed to safeguard people, property, and assets from potential threats, and they may work in various environments, including businesses, residential areas, events, or government facilities. Armed security guards undergo specialized training in firearm use, legal regulations, and security protocols. Their roles often include conducting patrols, monitoring surveillance systems, controlling access points, and responding to security incidents. The presence of armed security guards is intended to deter potential threats and enhance the overall safety and security of the premises they protect.

What is the difference between armed and unarmed security guards?

The primary distinction between armed and unarmed security guards is the use of firearms. Armed security guards carry firearms, undergo specialized training in firearm use and legal regulations, and typically work in higher-risk environments. On the other hand, unarmed security guards do not carry firearms, receive training in non-lethal security methods, and often work in settings where a less conspicuous security presence is sufficient. Both types of guards play crucial roles in maintaining safety and security, with the choice between armed or unarmed guards depending on specific security needs and risks of the environment.

Who is eligible for a security guard license?

Eligibility for a security guard license varies by jurisdiction but commonly includes being at least 18 or 21 years old, a legal resident or citizen, having a high school diploma or equivalent, passing a criminal background check, undergoing fingerprinting, completing mandatory training courses, potentially undergoing drug testing and a mental health evaluation, demonstrating good moral character, and, in some cases, meeting certain physical fitness standards. Prospective applicants should check the specific requirements outlined by the licensing authority in their jurisdiction and ensure they meet the necessary criteria before applying.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for an armed security guard license in Texas, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria, including age requirements, legal residency, and criminal background checks.

Age Requirement

Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for an armed security guard license in Texas. This age requirement ensures that individuals seeking licensure are of legal age to undertake the responsibilities associated with armed security work.

Legal Residency

Prospective licensees must be legal residents of the United States or a U.S. citizen to be eligible for an armed security guard license in Texas. This requirement is in place to maintain the integrity and security of the licensing process.

Criminal Background Check

A thorough criminal background check is conducted as part of the application process. Certain criminal convictions may disqualify an individual from obtaining an armed security guard license. It is essential to disclose accurate information regarding past convictions during the application process.

Training and Education

Completion of state-approved training courses is mandatory for obtaining an armed security guard license in Texas. These courses cover essential topics such as firearm safety, use of force, and legal regulations specific to armed security work.

Application Process

Applicants must submit a comprehensive application, including proof of completion of required training courses, fingerprints, and any additional documentation as specified by the licensing authority. Ensuring that all necessary documents are submitted accurately and promptly is crucial for a smooth application process.

Psychological Evaluation

As part of the licensing process, applicants may be required to undergo a psychological evaluation. This assessment helps determine an individual’s mental fitness for the responsibilities associated with armed security work.

Fee Payment

There is a non-refundable application fee associated with obtaining an armed security guard license in Texas. Applicants should be prepared to cover this fee as part of the application process.

By fulfilling these requirements diligently, individuals can navigate the process of obtaining an armed security guard license in Texas.

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Factors Affecting Eligibility for an Armed Security Guard License in Texas

Criminal Convictions

Individuals with certain criminal convictions may be rendered ineligible for an armed security guard license in Texas. Convictions related to violent crimes, felonies, or offenses involving moral turpitude could disqualify an applicant due to concerns about the individual’s suitability for the role.

Mental Health Concerns

Applicants with documented mental health issues that may impair their ability to perform the duties of an armed security guard could face disqualification. The psychological evaluation conducted during the application process helps assess an individual’s mental fitness for the responsibilities associated with armed security work.

Substance Abuse

A history of substance abuse or addiction may disqualify an individual from obtaining an armed security guard license in Texas. This is because substance abuse issues could compromise the judgment and reliability of a security professional, posing a potential risk to the safety and security of others.

Dishonorable Discharge from Military Service

Individuals who have received a dishonorable discharge from the military may be disqualified from obtaining an armed security guard license. This is due to concerns about the individual’s character and ability to adhere to codes of conduct and discipline.

Domestic Violence Convictions

Convictions related to domestic violence may lead to disqualification from obtaining an armed security guard license in Texas. This is to ensure that individuals with a history of violent behavior, especially within personal relationships, are not placed in roles involving the use of force and firearms.

By understanding these factors that may affect eligibility, prospective applicants can assess their qualifications and address any potential issues before pursuing an armed security guard license in Texas.

Application Process for an Armed Security Guard License in Texas

1. Eligibility Verification

Before initiating the application process, ensure you meet all eligibility requirements, including age, legal residency, and a clear criminal background. Address any disqualifying factors to improve your chances of a successful application.

2. Training and Education

Enroll in state-approved training courses for armed security guards. These courses cover essential topics such as firearm safety, use of force, and legal regulations. Training can be completed at accredited institutions or online platforms. Costs vary, with average fees ranging from $100 to $300.

3. Fingerprinting

Visit a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) approved fingerprinting service provider to complete the fingerprinting requirement. The cost for fingerprinting is typically around $25 to $50. Ensure you receive a receipt or proof of fingerprinting, as this will be required during the application process.

4. Application Submission

Complete the online application form through the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) website. Include all required documentation, such as proof of training completion and the fingerprinting receipt. Be prepared to pay the non-refundable application fee, which ranges from $100 to $150.

5. Background Check

Undergo a comprehensive criminal background check as part of the application process. Any discrepancies or unreported convictions may result in delays or disqualification. Ensure accuracy and transparency in providing information.

6. Psychological Evaluation

Some applicants may be required to undergo a psychological evaluation. This evaluation helps assess mental fitness for the responsibilities of armed security work. Follow the instructions provided by the licensing authority for this step.

7. Fee Payment

Pay any additional fees associated with the application process promptly. These fees may include charges for the criminal background check and the psychological evaluation, if applicable. Failure to pay fees on time can result in delays or denial of the application.

8. Application Review

Once the application is submitted, the licensing authority will review it for completeness and accuracy. Any missing information or documentation may result in delays. Check the application status regularly and respond promptly to any requests for additional information.

9. License Issuance

Upon successful completion of the application process, including the background check and any required evaluations, the Texas Department of Public Safety will issue the armed security guard license. Keep the license in a secure location and adhere to all renewal requirements to maintain active licensure.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Armed Security Guard License in Texas?

Timeline for Obtaining an Armed Security Guard License

The timeframe for obtaining an armed security guard license in Texas can vary based on several factors. On average, the process may take approximately 4 to 6 weeks, but individual circumstances and the efficiency of the application process can influence the duration.

1. Training Duration

Completion of state-approved training courses can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks, depending on the format and schedule of the courses.

2. Fingerprinting

The fingerprinting process typically takes a short amount of time, often on the same day of the appointment. However, waiting for the results may add a few days to the overall timeline.

3. Application Processing

After submitting the online application, the processing time by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) can vary. It is advisable to regularly check the application status for updates.

4. Background Check

The criminal background check is a crucial component, and its duration can depend on various factors. Delays may occur if there are discrepancies or if additional information is required.

5. Psychological Evaluation

If a psychological evaluation is required, the scheduling and completion of this assessment will contribute to the overall timeline. This step can add a few days to a couple of weeks.

6. License Issuance

Once the application is approved, the armed security guard license will be issued. Applicants should allow some additional time for the mailing and processing of the physical license.

Applicants can expedite the process by ensuring they meet all eligibility requirements, completing training promptly, providing accurate and complete information, and promptly responding to any requests for additional documentation. Additionally, staying informed about the application status throughout the process can help manage expectations regarding the timeline.

Armed Security Guard License

Why Should I Get an Armed Security Officer License?

Enhanced Career Opportunities

Obtaining an armed security officer license opens doors to a broader range of career opportunities within the security industry. Armed security officers are often in demand for roles that require a higher level of responsibility and involve safeguarding valuable assets or individuals.

Increased Earning Potential

Armed security officers generally command higher salaries than their unarmed counterparts. The specialized skills and additional training required for armed roles contribute to an increased earning potential, making it a financially rewarding career choice.

Deterrent Effect on Criminal Activity

The visible presence of an armed security officer can act as a powerful deterrent to criminal activity. Armed officers are trained to handle security threats decisively, providing a heightened level of protection for clients, businesses, and the community.

Protection of High-Value Assets

Armed security officers are often deployed to protect high-value assets, such as financial institutions, government facilities, or critical infrastructure. Their training in the use of firearms and specialized security measures makes them well-suited for roles that involve safeguarding significant investments.

Response to Critical Situations

Armed security officers undergo rigorous training in handling critical situations, including emergencies that may require the use of force. Their ability to respond effectively to threats and emergencies contributes to a safer environment for those under their protection.

Professional Development and Training

The process of obtaining an armed security officer license involves comprehensive training that enhances professional development. This continuous learning equips individuals with valuable skills in areas such as conflict resolution, emergency response, and legal considerations.

Contribution to Public Safety

Armed security officers play a crucial role in maintaining public safety. By obtaining a license and working in the field, individuals contribute to the overall security and well-being of the communities they serve.

In summary, getting an armed security officer license can lead to a fulfilling and dynamic career with increased opportunities, higher earning potential, and a meaningful contribution to public safety.

Conclusion

In conclusion, obtaining an armed security officer license in Texas opens avenues to a rewarding career filled with responsibility, increased earning potential, and opportunities for professional growth. Armed officers serve as a vital deterrent to criminal activity, protecting high-value assets and responding adeptly to critical situations. The commitment to public safety and the development of specialized skills make this profession both fulfilling and impactful. Whether safeguarding financial institutions, government facilities, or critical infrastructure, armed security officers play a pivotal role in ensuring the security and well-being of the communities they serve.

Ready to embark on a fulfilling career as an armed security officer in Texas? Get armed security guard license  and apply with VP Security Guards today! Join a team dedicated to excellence in security services, offering a dynamic work environment and opportunities for professional development. With competitive salaries and a commitment to the highest standards of training, VP Security Guards provides the platform for you to make a real difference in the field of security. Take the next step in your career – apply now and become a key player in maintaining safety and security in Texas. Your journey to a rewarding career in armed security starts here with VP Security Guards.

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