If you are thinking of going into the private security industry in Connecticut, you may consider becoming an armed guard. The added responsibility of carrying and operating a firearm means that wages for armed security officers are higher than those for ordinary guards (by as much as $10,000 per year), and there are also potentially more career opportunities available to guard sensitive and high-value sites.
All security guards in Connecticut are subject to licensing by the State Department of Public Safety, and this includes unarmed officers as well as armed ones. Connecticut being one of the U.S. states with relatively stringent gun laws, state law stipulates additional training and certification for armed security guards. The license that confers the right to carry weapons is referred to as the CT Blue Card; here are the requirements for obtaining one, so if you’re thinking of undergoing armed guard training, make sure beforehand that you meet the criteria, so you don’t end up wasting time and money.
The candidate for an armed security guard license must be at least 21 years of age; a background check is conducted to eliminate candidates with a history of felony convictions and any gun-related crimes. In addition to individuals with a criminal history, CT blue card holders must not have ever been barred from owning a firearm for other reasons. Finally, the background check must not reveal any prior denials of a security license.
Candidates will be fingerprinted and photographed, and must present a valid Connecticut driver’s license. Only U.S. citizens or legal residents are eligible.
Candidates must then pass a firearms training course at an instruction facility approved by the CT Public Safety Commissioner. The state-mandated course involves 8 hours of classroom instruction and live training at a firing range. The course requires applicants to demonstrate understanding of firearm safety, storage and operation (loading, unloading, checking safety). Candidates must show a knowledge of state law concerning the use of firearms, as well as laws regulating the acceptable use of non-lethal or deadly force by security personnel.
To complete the course, candidates must pass an in-class examination and show proficiency with a firearm in a live fire demonstration.
Upon completion of this course, the candidate can apply to the State for their Class 1 armed security officer permit. The license is valid for five years, and is an absolute requirement for employment with any private security agency.
One last thing to remember is that after obtaining a CT blue card, state law requires each license holder to undergo an approved refresher course every year.