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Scarce regulation of licensed security guards, study finds

Occupational licenses are commonly required for people to wield a scalpel, a dental drill, or a pair of scissors on the job, but not necessarily a gun, according to a December 9 report by the Center For Investigative Reporting and CNN. Fourteen states do not issue permits or licenses to armed security guard applicants, while nine other states don’t even conduct a background check of applicants.

The investigators found that only a few states attempt to identify whether a guard applicant has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, mental health problems, or a violent past. More than two dozen states, according to the report, don’t even make sure their security guard applicants are allowed to carry a weapon. Nor do many states, according to the report, require training in how to use a firearm.

The lack of regulation and failure to make sure security guards are properly licensed has led to tragic occurrences of misjudgment and the loss of innocent lives.

Guards, such as Joshua Kosatschenko, have often been licensed and allowed to carry loaded weapons, despite having violent criminal histories of assault with a deadly weapon and a history of mental illness. The result: heinous injuries, paralyzed teenagers, and unnecessary deaths.

The only way to fix the predicament of unqualified security guards with criminal pasts achieving licenses, many assert, is through more rigorous regulation.

But according to the Center for Investigative Reporting report, regulators have tried to revamp and strengthen licensing requirements for guards before, but, “associations representing the businesses that hire security guards have lobbied heavily against them, arguing that training standards would add costs and drive business to contract security companies.”

Read more here.