Reinforcing Firearms Safety For Your Building's Security Staff

Posted on: 28 December 2021

Armed security is essential for some types of businesses, such as jewelry stores and banks. If your building requires armed security personnel, it's important to put safety protocols in place and to reinforce those rules throughout the year. Use the following guide to help ensure your security staff is trained and on the same page when it comes to the use of firearms. 

Firearms Training Courses

Before any members of your security staff begins to carry a weapon while on duty, plan on having them undergo firearms training. The firearms training course you select should include how to fire a weapon properly and how to care for that weapon when it's not in use. Written exams and those taken at a firing range can help ensure each member of your security team understands the responsibility that comes with carrying a weapon and how to use that weapon appropriately. Check with local law enforcement to ensure your staff takes the required courses as prescribed by law and carries the necessary permits to legally carry a weapon. 

Secure Firearms Storage

While some security staff may want to use the weapons they already own, it is a good idea for your business to purchase the firearms your staff will use while they are at work each day. The weapons can be stored on site so you know they are only in use while your staff is on the job. You'll want to have a secure storage system set up for any firearms, pepper spray, tasers, or other weapons you provide your security detail with. This secure storage setup should include:

  • A safe with a digital keypad lock
  • A discreet location that is out of the public eye
  • A log sheet to record when each weapon is checked in and out

Be sure to create a routine for staff to follow at the beginning and end of each shift to ensure weapons are properly checked in and out. This will help prevent employees from accidentally bringing a firearm home, and it can also help prevent items from becoming lost or stolen. 

Firearms Training Refresher Courses

Even after your staff is trained and fully licensed to carry, it's a good idea to require every member of your security detail to undergo refresher courses each year. Ideally, your staff will never have to fire a weapon, so brushing up on the basics of safety and proper use can help them stay ready in the event a firearm ever needs to be used. You may want to invest in memberships with a local firing range that offers training courses. Your staff can sign out their duty weapons at prescribed times each month to train and practice.

Rules Of Engagement

Your security staff should be familiar with the rules of engagement that your business prefers. Using a firearm should be the last resort, but you'll want to reinforce the steps staff should take before drawing their service weapon. For example, you might have a checklist in place that your security detail can review mentally in high-stress situations. You may require them to determine how many customers or employees are in the room who might be caught in crossfire and you may require the tripping of a silent alarm before engaging with a potential robber. You may require your staff to attempt the use of a taser or other nonlethal weapon before resorting to using a firearm. While no checklist is perfect and situations can change quickly, having a clear set of expectations for how force will be used can help prevent a potential tragedy.