security guard service in California

What Security Guards Can and Can’t Do Legally in California

Security guards in California are licensed professionals who provide security services and protect people and property from theft, crime, and other dangerous activities. It is important to understand the legal rights and responsibilities that security guards have in California. This article will outline what security guards can and can’t do legally in California, along with the laws and regulations governing their actions.

What Security Guards Can Do Legally

Carrying a Weapon

Security guards are usually not permitted to carry a weapon on the job. In certain situations, Security guards are legally allowed to carry a weapon on duty that will be a handgun, rifle or shotgun. Because they have a licence issued by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) to carry weapons by being qualified for a training course on the proper use of firearms. 

Observing and Reporting

Security guards are responsible for observing and reporting any suspicious activities or persons on the premises they are guarding Because Security guards monitor all activity in and around an area through patrols and security surveillance. They are vigilant on the job and keep an eye out for any deviations from the area’s normal routine. 

If they notice any such anomaly, they can immediately take appropriate action or notify the officers stationed with them, as well as their superiors and higher authorities.

Maintaining Records

Security guards are responsible for maintaining records of activities that occur while on duty. This includes keeping a detailed log of events, such as when people enter and exit a building or any suspicious activities. The records are used to help identify potential problems and help law enforcement investigate crimes.

Protecting Property

Security guards play a vital role in protecting property from theft, vandalism, and other illegal activities. They are able to detect potential threats and take the necessary steps to prevent them. This includes implementing security protocols such as setting up barriers to deter intruders, patrolling the premises, and monitoring security cameras. Because they have knowledge of local laws and regulations to protect the property. By doing so, they help ensure that the property is protected from any criminal activity.

What Security Guards Can’t Do Legally

Security guards play an important role in keeping people, businesses, and property safe in California. They are tasked with monitoring and protecting the public while also ensuring that laws are followed. While they have the authority to protect and serve, they do not have the authority to break the law. In California, there are certain activities that security guards are not legally allowed to do.

Not Make Arrests

Security guards are not authorised to make arrests legally. This means that they do not have the legal power to detain or apprehend individuals suspected of committing a crime. Instead, their primary role is to observe and report any suspicious activities or incidents to the appropriate authorities, such as the police or law enforcement agencies. Security guards are responsible for maintaining a safe and secure environment within their assigned premises, ensuring the protection of people and property. 

Carry Firearms

Security guards in California cannot legally carry firearms while on duty. This is due to the strict laws surrounding the licensing and use of firearms in the state. There are a few exceptions, such as retired law enforcement officers, but generally, security guards are not allowed. It is important to consider these laws when deciding on the type of security a business or facility needs.

Racial Profiling And Discrimination

Security guards are not allowed to discriminate against people based on their race, colour, religion, or other characteristics. They must always be objective and only arrest people for criminal activity. Any other factor should not cloud the guard’s judgement, and everyone should be treated equally in their eyes. 

Use Excessive Force

Security guards in California are not allowed to use excessive force when dealing with a situation. The use of force must be reasonable and necessary to protect the public and prevent criminal activity. The security guard must also follow all laws and regulations when it comes to using force.


Security guards in California are able to provide a wide range of services to protect people and property. They are empowered to act as a deterrent to crime and to report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authorities. However, it is important to remember that security guards are limited by the law in what they can and cannot do legally in California. In particular, security guards cannot carry firearms, make arrests, or use excessive force. It is also important to note that security guards must adhere to the laws of the state, as well as the regulations put in place by their employers. By understanding the legal boundaries of security guards, California citizens can be assured that they are receiving the best possible protection.

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