Armed Security Guards And Crimes Of Moral Turpitude: Holding Armed Security Guards To A Higher Standard

A few weeks ago I was bored at home and decided to watch Paul Blart Mall Cop starring Kevin James.  I heard it was a very stupid movie, but I figured I give it a chance because the wife was in the other room with the baby, and the remote was too far away from me to even contemplate getting up.  Being the stellar husband that I am, I yelled for my wife to get the remote for me.  The wife walked out into the living room, looked at me, and said “are you serious?”  In which I replied, “of course I am serious, so help a brother out.”  Well the wife walked back towards the baby’s room without tossing over the remote to me.  Ice cold on her part!  So, I was stuck watching the movie.  After watching the movie, I realized that getting up to get the remote to change the channel might not have been a bad idea.

It goes without question that Kevin James was making fun of what most American’s think of when we hear security guard; an overweight male, with a cheesy 1970’s mustache, horrible uniform, and a god complex.  But this blog article is not to give this fearless wonders a hard-time.

Security guards are very much a part of our daily activities.  Whether they guard shopping centers, concert venues, hotels, jewelry stores, hospitals, or apartment complexes, security guards are there ready to move at a moment’s notice on their super-duper cool Segway. (Okay, I slipped on that one.  I will try to refrain from the security guard jokes).

Now depending on the premise being protected, some security guards are armed.  The idea of armed security guards has always had a bit of criticism and hesitation behind it.  After all, don’t we have armed police officers that can save us from the bad guys?  Why should we allow individuals outside of police officers carrying firearms for the purpose of stopping a crime?  Although I think there are great arguments for and against armed security guards, I think the easiest answer is that a property owners should be allowed to protect their property with security guards that are licensed to carry firearms.  And in this day and age of domestic terrorism, many property owners where a large amounts of the public gather want to be able to protect their visitors.  A great example of using armed security guards to protect its visitors and property are hospitals.

To become an armed security guard, one must go through an application process.  Some requirements are that the individual is a U.S. Citizen, 21 years of age, no felonies, and hold a driver’s license.  In addition, the individual must complete a twenty-four hour firearms training course and requalify each year.  And just like a police officer, an armed security guard can have their license to carry a firearm revoked or suspended for violating their duties under the Ohio Revised Code.

Ohio Revised Code Section 4749 governs private investigators and security services.  R.C. 4749.04 allows the Director of Public Safety to revoke, suspend, or refuse the renewal of a security guard provider’s license for various reasons, to include crimes of moral turpitude.  For the purpose of this article, I will focus on crimes of moral turpitude.

R.C. 4776.10 defines crimes of moral turpitude as the following:

  • Committing Aggravated Murder or Murder;
  • Any offense under R.C. Section 2950: Sexual Predators, Habitual Sex Offenders, Sexually Oriented Offenders;
  • Any offense Act of Violence, if the offense is a felony of the first or second degree;
  • Complicity of Aggravated Murder or Murder;
  • Attempt or conspiracy to commit, or complicity in committing any of the above described offenses.

Looking at the above definition of crimes of moral turpitude, it is apparent that the Ohio Legislation wanted to hold armed security guards to a higher standard.  Just in case you were wondering, Acts of Violence include about thirty-five offenses under the Ohio Revised Code.

So who cares right?  Well I guess I care because in our ever changing world, I feel that we will see an increase in private armed security services.  It is nice to know that there are standards that the armed security guards must live up to in order to carry a firearm.  And remember, the above stated requirements are what the state of Ohio mandates.  Most armed security guard companies require their own specific training outside of Ohio’s mandated requirements.

I guess Paul Blart really is not that bad of a guy after all.  However, I will not be watching Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 and 3.  That is just getting ridiculous.  Now if you are looking for a great cinematic feature checkout Flash Gordon.  It is not every day you get to watch a New York Jets Quarterback take on Emperor Ming the Merciless on planet Mongo to save Earth!


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