Armed security guards have become a ubiquitous presence in modern life, projecting an image of safety amid public fears of mass shootings and terrorism. But often, it’s the guards themselves who pose the threat.
Across the U.S., a haphazard system of lax laws, minimal oversight and almost no accountability puts guns in the hands of guards who endanger public safety, a yearlong investigation by The Center for Investigative Reporting and CNN has found.
The investigation found:
When security guards shoot their guns, few regulators seem to care. In a dozen states, armed security guards or their employers are required to report when they have fired a gun on the job. This critical information can be used to judge whether a guard is reckless. But despite clear evidence from media and police reports, many shootings go unreported to regulators – and when they are, officials seldom take action.
How does your state regulate hired guns? See a state-by-state interactive chart.