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Drafting firearms policy

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  • Drafting firearms policy

    After spending several years as an LEO, I am now Security Chief for a major U.S. manufacturer. To date we have been an unarmed 'security force', but that changed yesterday as the result of an incident that I won't discuss here. Before the day was over I was asked 'How quickly can you be armed?'.

    Now I am tasked with developing a firearms policy. Fortunately, most of my team consists of former military and law enforcement personnel, with some having worked armed posts on Federal sites. Handguns will be limited to 9MM DA autos and longarms will be 12GA. No ARs.....yet. FWIW, the facility I am tasked with securing sits on approximately 1,000 acres and employees 1800+.

    I have experience in updating existing LE agency firearms policy, but have never developed a policy from the ground up. Something tells me this will be 'easier', but I am open to suggestions.

    Thanks in advance!
    "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
    -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

  • #2
    Just curious: who decided to go with 9mm pistols and 12 gauge shotguns? Do you know why they selected those calibers?

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    • #3
      While I am head of security at this facility, the security contract is actually farmed out. The security company with the contract is dictating the parameters.
      "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
      -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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      • #4
        I think that it is great that you are developing a firearms policy.

        To quote or paraphrase Col. Dave Grossman, "Never call an unarmed man SECURITY"..... It just does not make sense to me. Call them loss prevention, call them whatever, but they can not protect anyone when an armed inturder threatens them.

        Words to live by.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 2971511 View Post
          I think that it is great that you are developing a firearms policy.

          To quote or paraphrase Col. Dave Grossman, "Never call an unarmed man SECURITY"..... It just does not make sense to me. Call them loss prevention, call them whatever, but they can not protect anyone when an armed inturder threatens them.

          Words to live by.
          I agree wholeheartedly. Prior to the incident this past Friday, our 'misson' was simply to 'observe and report'.
          "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
          -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm always wary of letting other agencies dictate anything related to internal policy. If the security agency is only adamant about 9mm DAO and 12ga long guns, and they don't have any other requirements, you probably have something to work with. Here are some considerations that I studied and researched in my collegiate police administration and policy courses:


            Specific Gun Models/Approval: There should be an outline of what models are approved or acceptable. This is to ensure that the gun is reliable and safe. While guns like a Glock or Beretta 92D are reliable, accurate and very safe, guns like the S&W Sigma SW9V are not. All firearms that are used should be subject to approval by your company, not the security company.

            Ammunition: An outline of what type of ammunition is authorized. Preferably, you should be requiring them to use JHP or EFMJ ammunition for maximum stopping power with minimum over-penetration. If you so decide, another option may be frangible ammunition, but I'm always leary of that. Once an ammunition is selected and approved, whoever is using it must actually qualify with the ammunition that they intend to use (and not FMJ practice ammo).

            Qualification: If the security company has their own qualification standards, that could be fine. It should be reviewed, and checked for feasibility. If you have to create your own standards, these also apply. Consider requiring biannual qualifications instead of annual qualifications, or even quarterly qualifications if you so desire or see necessary. Further, you may want to require that security officers must qualify at a certain level or hit count/percentage. If the company requires 35/50 hits, you may consider requiring 40/50, 45/50 or whatever you deem necessary.

            Training: Security units should be trained how to properly operate and shoot in the environment that they will be operating. Given the description you gave, this should include CQB/room clearing tactics, as well as moving on open terrain and making long-range shots (within reason, of course). Active Shooter scenario training is always a great thing- and given all that's going on right now-it's practically a necessity.

            Rules of Engagement (RoE): This will dictate what authorizes the officers to use deadly force. As we all know, even drawing a firearm may constitute the presentation of deadly force. Having a gun drawn and in a low ready is sometimes an ideal defensive action, but you do need to know when you can do it. RoE should conform to your state's laws regarding lawful usage and discharge of a firearm in defense.

            Force Continuum: Review the security company's use of force continuum to see if you approve of it. Also, see how flexible they are. It may be necessary for you to tweak the continuum to meet your needs. If, for example, you want more restrictive usage of chemical aerosol due to confined quarters in the buildings, etc.

            Security Officer Selection: You should have the ultimate say on who is assigned/selected to your business. You should be able to interview officers prior to their assignment, and you should reserve the right to review all background checks of those officers. Additionally, you could require annual criminal background and driver's license record checks (driving behavior has a connection to responsibility). If you have an officer working at the business and you dislike the officer, consider them a liability, or they are generating complaints from employees, you should reserve the right to have them immediately removed from your account without question or protest.

            Jurisdiction/Police Cooperation: Most security agencies are good about working with the police. In instances with firearms, it becomes very delicate. If your security officers are authorized to use their firearms, they might use them. If the police show up to a major situation or Critical Incident, they may make orders or demands that security officers take their directions/directives from the police; or they may demand that the security officers stand down. In most states, it's been recognized that LE/Gov agencies have jurisdiction and may give lawful direction to all personnel at the scene. Your policy should be in compliance with state law/mandate/past practice. It should outline when and how your officers are required to take directives from and cooperate with police, should a critical incident occur. It could also dictate that when police arrive, that security is to stand down and no longer be involved for reasons like liability or criminal investigation purposes.


            Also to consider...
            Concealed Carry by employees, visitors, etc.: It's a good idea to make a decision and have a stance on whether you want people to be able to carry, or you don't. Not a bad thing review, IMO.
            "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."
            -John Adams


            Disclaimer: My statements are personal opinions, and in no way reflect those of my agency.

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