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Thread: Who is the government to regulate the private sector with firearms?

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    Who is the government to regulate the private sector with firearms?

    So here in Washington, the legislature regulates the private sector security and private investigation field, and requires that they be licensed, in order to carry a firearm while on duty. To me, this seems bogus.

    RCW 18.170.160 says

    "(1) After June 30, 1992, any person who performs the functions and duties of a private security guard in this state without being licensed in accordance with this chapter, or any person presenting or attempting to use as his or her own the license of another, or any person who gives false or forged evidence of any kind to the director in obtaining a license, or any person who falsely impersonates any other licensee, or any person who attempts to use an expired or revoked license, or any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

    (2) After January 1, 1992, a person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if he or she owns or operates a private security company in this state without first obtaining a private security company license."

    ..
    ..
    ..

    " (4) After June 30, 1992, a person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if he or she performs the functions and duties of an armed private security guard in this state unless the person holds a valid armed private security guard license issued by the department."


    So basically, as a citizen, working in the private sector, you can be charged and convicted of a GROSS Misdemeanor, face jail time, and pay heavy fines, if you decide to carry your firearm, while on duty as a security officer or private investigator, unless you have the proper license.

    On top of that, you have to be licensed by the state to even WORK as a contracted security officer or private investigator. That is also a gross misdemeanor. So you can actually face jail time, and heavy fines, for even performing the duties as one of these professions, if you're not even licensed to do so.

    That seems like a load of B.S. to me.


    (I just cited the RCW that covered contracted security officers. The law has a similar chapter on private investigators)

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Like most laws, this law has its "roots" in the history of abuse that took place in the private security and private investigator business. Too many that wanted to pass themselves off as "cops".

    Just "flash the badge" and intimidate away. I can remember private security guards in the 60's dressing and "packing" just like regular police officers. Some of those private security guards even had IQ's above room temperature but not many of them.
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    I can understand that, but they have laws the restrict the use of "police" or "law enforcement" in the companies title.

    The law also says that a security officer or private investigator cannot "display a firearm" while "soliciting" a client. Does that mean, if I were a private investigator, I could not open carry while conducting business with a client? Just seems like too much of an infringement IMO.

    I also think it's insane that someone can be jailed for doing contracting security work without being licensed to do so.
    Last edited by Aaron1124; 04-15-2011 at 10:01 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    Actually, you can work security without being licensed as long you work directly for the company or person you are guarding. You just can't work as a security officer with a security company without one. Think "bouncer".

    I'm not really sure about carrying a firearm but I THINK the same rules apply.
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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
    Actually, you can work security without being licensed as long you work directly for the company or person you are guarding. You just can't work as a security officer with a security company without one. Think "bouncer".

    I'm not really sure about carrying a firearm but I THINK the same rules apply.
    John,

    Can you carry a firearm without being licensed?
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
    Actually, you can work security without being licensed as long you work directly for the company or person you are guarding. You just can't work as a security officer with a security company without one. Think "bouncer".

    I'm not really sure about carrying a firearm but I THINK the same rules apply.
    That is what I remember getting out of it too.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
    Actually, you can work security without being licensed as long you work directly for the company or person you are guarding. You just can't work as a security officer with a security company without one. Think "bouncer".

    I'm not really sure about carrying a firearm but I THINK the same rules apply.
    Yeah, I am familiar with that. I have done private security for an individual establishment before. The licensing requirements don't apply to these type of positions. Same for the firearm licensing requirement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    John,

    Can you carry a firearm without being licensed?
    You can work security, carry a firearm, all while being unlicensed, IF, you work for one establishment, and that establishment can not be a security contractor. Like he said, think of bouncers, or Boeing security. They're all "in house" security.

    RCW 18.170.020

    The requirements of this chapter do not apply to:

    (1) A person who is employed exclusively or regularly by one employer and performs the functions of a private security guard solely in connection with the affairs of that employer, if the employer is not a private security company;
    Last edited by Aaron1124; 04-15-2011 at 11:32 PM.

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    Regular Member DevinWKuska's Avatar
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    So does this mean I can OC as a security guard for my wife for the lowest legal contract of $1USD per year? I have been to events where firearms are prohibited yet security guards(not belonging to the event itself) still carry. I assume this is due to a profession somehow creating a loophole in the system?
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    You do understand that "display" of a firearm is removing it from it's holster? No?

    Anyway, security firms have certain "training requirements" to get their employees licensed. If you search "Firearms, security, training" along with RCW or WAC you will get a lot of hits.

    Before you try to circumvent the intent of the law, you better understand the law like a Philidelpha lawyer, OK?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    You do understand that "display" of a firearm is removing it from it's holster? No?

    Anyway, security firms have certain "training requirements" to get their employees licensed. If you search "Firearms, security, training" along with RCW or WAC you will get a lot of hits.

    Before you try to circumvent the intent of the law, you better understand the law like a Philidelpha lawyer, OK?
    And those training requirements are fine. I have no problem with an agency setting it's rules for their employees. My issue is the legislature regulating specific requirements for them to carry armed, while "in house" security officers do not have to undergo any "special training" per law, to carry a firearm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevinWKuska View Post
    So does this mean I can OC as a security guard for my wife for the lowest legal contract of $1USD per year? I have been to events where firearms are prohibited yet security guards(not belonging to the event itself) still carry. I assume this is due to a profession somehow creating a loophole in the system?
    I'll actually try to answer in my honest *opinion*. It depends if you're "specifically" conducting security work for JUST your wife, or if you're working as an "independent contractor" security officer. If you're working as an independent, contracted security officer, who charges clients, then you would need to obtain a principal agency security license.

    Sounds like it could be one of those loopholes where YOU decide what you want to be.

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    Regular Member j2l3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    The law also says that a security officer or private investigator cannot "display a firearm" while "soliciting" a client. Does that mean, if I were a private investigator, I could not open carry while conducting business with a client? Just seems like too much of an infringement IMO.
    Soliciting means you can not make a slales type of call to try to sell your services to a new client.

    I manage a security department for a private company. The licensing requirement does not apply to me. It does to the security officers we have because we contract that function out. If they were "in-house" then they also would not have to be licensed.

    If the company wanted them to be armed, they could do that too, as long as they were "in-house" security officers working directly for the company. The state licensing requirement would not apply to them.

    This would also apply to CPL's. Not required as long as the empoyer wants them to and they do not leave the companies "fixed place of business". (RCW 9.41.050 1(a))

    A security officer from a contracted company has to be licensed as armed security to carry a firearm on duty. There are two types of licenses for security guards, armed and unarmed. Private Investigator is a different license.
    Last edited by j2l3; 04-16-2011 at 02:07 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by gogodawgs View Post
    John,

    Can you carry a firearm without being licensed?
    Since I work for a company that contracts security services instead of the client at my site the answer would be "no". I am a licensed, unarmed security officer. I'm not even allowed to carry pepper spray.

    In order for me to be able to carry a firearm on duty. I would have to be licensed by the state as an armed security officer. My company doesn't provide armed security.

    Now, if I worked directly for the client ,instead of for a security service, I wouldn't need a license either to work security or to carry a firearm.

    Thanks to j2l3 for clarifying that for me. He has a lot more experience in this area than I do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
    Since I work for a company that contracts security services instead of the client at my site the answer would be "no". I am a licensed, unarmed security officer. I'm not even allowed to carry pepper spray.

    In order for me to be able to carry a firearm on duty. I would have to be licensed by the state as an armed security officer. My company doesn't provide armed security.

    Now, if I worked directly for the client ,instead of for a security service, I wouldn't need a license either to work security or to carry a firearm.

    Thanks to j2l3 for clarifying that for me. He has a lot more experience in this area than I do.
    I believe legally, you can carry pepper spray, but many, if not all contracted security agencies require their officers to undergo an O.C. class in order for them to be certified. I am pretty sure the law is silent on all weapons, aside from firearms.
    Last edited by Aaron1124; 04-16-2011 at 03:06 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I believe legally, you can carry pepper spray, but many, if not all contracted security agencies require their officers to undergo an O.C. class in order for them to be certified. I am pretty sure the law is silent on all weapons, aside from firearms.
    It's the company that won't allow me to carry the pepper spray. Sorry. Should have specified that.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bookman View Post
    It's the company that won't allow me to carry the pepper spray. Sorry. Should have specified that.
    And the truth of the matter is that its the Company's Insurance Carrier that has forced that rule on them. Limiting risk and all that.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Everything comes down to liability.

    In a case of a patron suing the company for getting pepper sprayed.

    Judge: "Mr ________, what training does your company provide your security officers in the proper use of chemical sprays?"

    Company representative: "Well, we don't. We just trust they use their own judgment."


    VS


    Judge: "Mr ________, what training does your company provide your security officers in the proper use of chemical sprays?"

    Company representative: "All of our security officers undergo a thorough chemical/aerosol defense class, offered by the Washington State Criminal Justice academy, to ensure they know the proper use of the weapon, and to instruct them when proper use is justified."


    I wonder which would sound better in court.
    Last edited by Aaron1124; 04-16-2011 at 10:59 AM.

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    Campaign Veteran gogodawgs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    Who is the government to regulate the private sector with firearms? So here in Washington, the legislature regulates the private sector security and private investigation field, and requires that they be licensed, in order to carry a firearm while on duty. To me, this seems bogus.

    RCW 18.170.160 says <snip>
    Aaron,

    I am surprised no one answered the premise of your original question. The Answer is very clear that the Washington State government CAN regulate the private sector with firearms in regards to private security.

    Washington State Constitution
    Article I Section 24


    The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.
    The final clause of Section 24 is what allows the state to regulate this field.
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    If I am the Juror the first one. And then I would concentrate on the evidence provided, was it in self defense or not.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

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    It is in the Constitution:

    "but nothing in this Section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men."

    Art 1, sec 24 of the Constitution of the State of Washington

    In this state, if you organize an armed body of men (security guards) the state has said that it is not a right, but something that can be regulated...

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    Gogo, thanks for the opinion and cite for my security question.

    What about private investigators? The primary job of a private investigator is not to provide security, but to conduct surveillance.

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    If you don't like the government regulating business then create your own country. Every country and state reserves the right to regulate the conduct of business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirpuma View Post
    If you don't like the government regulating business then create your own country. Every country and state reserves the right to regulate the conduct of business.
    To the point of requiring licensing in order to be armed on the job? That means, if I wanted to perform independent contracting security, or private investigations, myself (without having employees), I could not perform the duties of my job without undergoing a firearms training class, and paying a fee to do so.

    I just don't support that idea. It doesn't mean I am going to go as extreme as creating my own country. It's not THAT inconveniencing, but I disagree with it.

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    To the point of requiring licensing in order to be armed on the job? That means, if I wanted to perform independent contracting security, or private investigations, myself (without having employees), I could not perform the duties of my job without undergoing a firearms training class, and paying a fee to do so.

    I just don't support that idea. It doesn't mean I am going to go as extreme as creating my own country. It's not THAT inconveniencing, but I disagree with it.
    This is just one of the many licensing requirements for jobs.

    Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Pilots, Taxi Drivers, Police Officers, Pharmacists, Barbers, etc, etc.

    When someone wants to sell his/her services to the public the State has decided that it is in the best interests of society to insure that that person is qualified to perform those services without causing harm due to lack of basic skills required to perform that job.

    The Constitution protects your right to be armed for purposes of Self Defense but it does not guarantee your right to be armed and sell your protection services to the public without regulation.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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