Arizona: Armed Security Officers

Legislation and Details for Arizona


Arizona Revised Statutes
Title 32. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 26. Security Guards
Arizona Administrative Code
Title 13. Public Safety
Chapter 6. Department of Public Safety – Security Guards

Authorizing Department

DPS Public Services Center

Licensing Unit (Physical Address)

2222 W. Encanto Blvd
Phoenix, AZ 85009
Phone: (602) 223-2361
Fax: (602) 223-2938

Arizona Department of Public Safety

Licensing Unit (Mailing Address)

Mail Drop 3140
P.O. Box 6328
Phoenix, AZ 85005

Official Website

Licensure and License Fees

In Arizona, agencies are generally the licensed party while employees who wish to be Security Officers must register under these guidelines.
The rules indicate that the registration allows the applicant to work for any licensed security provider/agency.
In the proprietary security firm, there is no such requirement for the security officer. As in other states, the registration certificate is dependent on an actual or prospective offer
of employment from a licensed security provider.

A separate armed registration certificate is required for each job.
An additional Armed Security Guard registration certificate is needed for each agency for which you are employed. Expiration date will be the same as the unarmed registration certificate and each
card is personal to the applicant. If employment with an agency ends, the card may be shown to a future employer.
See: Armed Security Guard Registration

A security guard employee may not possess or carry a firearm while on official duty unless the employee is currently registered as an armed security guard and is authorized by the person’s employer to possess or carry the firearm.
See: ARS 32-2624.C


•   New/Renew Unarmed Security Guard – $72.00 (Include the $50 registration certificate fee and the $22 fingerprint processing fee)
•   New/Renew Armed Security Guard – $122.00 (This covers the $100 registration certificate fee and the $22 fingerprint processing fee)

•   Upgrade from Unarmed to Armed Security Guard* – $50.00
•   Additional Armed Agency Card – $10.00
•   Reinstatement – $25.00
•   Card Replacement – $10.00
•   Expiration: Two years from date DPS processes application. If renewal is less than 90 days past expiration date, $10 late fee is added

See: Arizona Department of Public Safety Website

Foreign Jurisdiction Licensure

Arizona allows for reciprocal agreements between states with similar requirements. The code states in part:

See: 32-2610. Reciprocal agreements: recognition.
A. The department may enter into a reciprocal agreement with a state that has security guard qualification laws substantially similar to this chapter to allow a security guard registration to be used by the registrant within the jurisdiction of either this state or the other state. The department may enter into the agreement if the issuing authority for the other state meets all of the following conditions:

1. Issues a security guard identification card with an expiration date printed on the card.

2. Is available to verify the registration status for law enforcement purposes within three business days after a request for verification.

3. Has disqualification, suspension and revocation requirements for registrations.

4. Requires that the applicant for a registration submit to a criminal history records check pursuant to section 41-1750 and applicable federal law.

B. The department may recognize security guard registrations from states that have security guard qualification laws substantially similar to this chapter if the issuing authority for the other state meets all of the conditions prescribed in subsection A, paragraphs 1 through 4 of this section.

C. The reciprocal agreement or recognition shall be limited and is intended only to allow security guard agencies that maintain business operations in multiple states to use their security guards to meet temporary demands.  For a security guard from another state to work in this state, the department shall set appropriate restrictions that shall include the following provisions:

1. The security guard shall possess a security guard registration in good standing from another state.

2. The security guard shall be employed by a security guard agency licensed in this state that possesses a security guard agency license in both states in good standing.

3. The security guard shall work no more than thirty days in a calendar year in this state.

4. The security guard agency shall provide written notification to the department on a form provided by the department.

5. Security guards who possess only a temporary or provisional registration shall not be permitted to work in this state.



Age Requirements

•   Must be at least 18 years of age if applying to be an associate, security guard or armed security guard.

See: 32-2622

•   Each applicant, if an individual, or each associate, director or manager, if the applicant is other than an individual, for an agency license to be issued pursuant to this chapter shall be at least twenty-one years of age.

See: 32-2612


Must be a citizen or legal resident who is authorized to seek employment in the United States.
See: ARS 32-2622(2)


Not Required


•   Arizona peace officers are exempt from training requirements
•   Law enforcement officers working as security guards or traffic control officers from the laws governing security guards

ARS §32-2606
Registrations exceptions:

1.   An officer or employee of the federal government, this state or a political subdivision of this state while the officer or employee is performing official duties.

2.   An individual who performs security related work at:
(a)   A commercial nuclear generating station that is subject to federal regulatory requirements.
(b)   A company that is subject to department of defense regulatory requirements.

3.   A company that employs security guards solely for use of and service to itself and not for others and that complies with the following requirements:
(a)   If the company’s security guards are armed, each guard must complete sixteen hours of firearms training initially and complete an additional eight hours of refresher training each year thereafter.
(b)   If the security guard wears a uniform or badge, the uniform or badge must strictly conform to the standards established by the department pursuant to this chapter.
(c)   The company must annually submit an affidavit to the department that attests to the company’s compliance with its internal procedures that require a background investigation for each of its security guards.

4.   The Arizona rangers organization as identified in section 41-4201, or authorized persons performing official Arizona ranger duties when in the service of a nonprofit organization recognized under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code.

According to ARS 32-2609: Good cause exceptions for misdemeanor and felony offenses:

A. If a person shows at a hearing to the board’s satisfaction that the person is not awaiting trial on or has not been convicted of committing any of the offenses listed in section 41-1758.03, subsection B, the board may grant a good cause exception for the following:

1. A misdemeanor offense if the person completed all terms of sentencing.
2. A felony offense if ten of more years have passed since the person completed all terms of sentencing.

B. Before granting a good cause exception at a hearing the board shall consider all of the following in accordance with board rule:

1. The extent of the person’s criminal record.
2. The length of time that has elapsed since the offense was committed.
3. The nature of the offense.
4. Evidence supporting any applicable mitigating circumstances.
5. Evidence supporting the degree to which the person participated in the offense.
6. Evidence supporting the extent of the person’s rehabilitation, including:

(a) Completion of probation, parole or community supervision.
(b) Whether the person paid restitution or other compensation for the offense.
(c) Evidence of positive action to change criminal behavior, such as completion of a drug treatment program or counseling.
(d) Personal references attesting to the person’s rehabilitation.

C. If seeking a good cause exception, at least five days before the hearing the applicant shall submit to the department any evidence the applicant will be presenting at the hearing.


Permit Required

A separate Armed registration certificate is required for each job.

If the agency is going to hire and/or train armed security guards, then the Qualifying Party must designate, in writing, the firearm-safety Instructor(s) for the agency.
See: Arizona Department of Public Safety, Security Guard Agency License

Requirement to carry an ID card

According to ARS §32-2623 every employee shall obtain a registration certificate.
The legislation is silent on the requirement to carry the registration certificate while on duty.

The security guard shall have the security guard’s identification card in the security guard’s possession and display it when requested by the Department or any peace officer.
See: ACC R-13-6-104.F

An armed security guard employed by more than one licensee shall pay the fee required under ACC R-13-6-103(A)(15) and obtain an identification card for each licensee under which the armed security guard is employed.
See: ACC R-13-6-104.D

Moral Character

No baseline requirement


The applicant’s fingerprints will be used to check the criminal history records of the FBI. The procedures for obtaining a change, correction, or updating of your criminal history record are set forth in Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 16.34.

The fingerprint processing fee is $22.

Substance Abuse

ARS §13, Chapter 34
Use of narcotics is a disqualifier

Mental Health

You will be disqualified if:

•   you have been adjudicated mentally incompetent or found to constitute a danger to self or others, ARS §36-540.
•   you have a disability, which renders you incapable of performing essential functions of the job even with reasonable accommodation from the employer, ARS §41-1461.

Criminal History Background Check

According to  AR 32-2622Qualifications of applicant for associate, security guard or armed security guard registration certificate an applicant must:

3.  Not have been convicted of any felony or currently be under indictment for a felony.
4. Within the five years immediately preceding the application for an associate, security guard or armed security guard registration certificate, not have been convicted of any misdemeanor act involving:

(a) Personal violence or force against another person or threatening to commit any act of personal violence or force against another person.
(b) Misconduct involving a deadly weapon as provided in section 13-3102.
(c) Dishonesty or fraud.
(d) Arson.
(e) Theft.
(f) Domestic violence.
(g) A violation of title 13, chapter 34 or 34.1 or an offense that has the same elements as an offense listed in title 13, chapter 34 or 34.1.
(h) Sexual misconduct.

5. Not be on parole, on community supervision, on work furlough, on home arrest, on release on any other basis or named in an outstanding arrest warrant.

6. Not be serving a term of probation pursuant to a conviction for any act of personal violence or domestic violence, as defined in section 13-3601, or an offense that has the same elements as an offense listed in section 13-3601.

7. Not be either of the following:

(a) Adjudicated mentally incompetent.
(b) Found to constitute a danger to self or others pursuant to section 36-540.

8. Not have a disability as defined in section 41-1461, unless that person is a qualified individual as defined in section 41-1461.

9. Not have been convicted of acting or attempting to act as an associate, security guard or armed security guard without a license if a license was required.

10. Not be a registered sex offender.

In addition, for an Armed Security Guard you will be disqualified if::
•   If you have ever been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony involving domestic violence.
•   If you are a Prohibited Possessor as defined in ARS §13-3101 or as described in 18 United States Code section 922.:

Prohibited possessor” means any person:

(a) Who has been found to constitute a danger to self or to others or to have a persistent or acute disability or grave disability pursuant to court order pursuant to section 36-540, and whose right to possess a firearm has not been restored pursuant to section 13-925.
(b) Who has been convicted within or without this state of a felony or who has been adjudicated delinquent for a felony and whose civil right to possess or carry a firearm has not been restored.
(c) Who is at the time of possession serving a term of imprisonment in any correctional or detention facility.
(d) Who is at the time of possession serving a term of probation pursuant to a conviction for a domestic violence offense as defined in section 13-3601 or a felony offense, parole, community supervision, work furlough, home arrest or release on any other basis or who is serving a term of probation or parole pursuant to the interstate compact under title 31, chapter 3, article 4.1.
(e) Who is an undocumented alien or a nonimmigrant alien traveling with or without documentation in this state for business or pleasure or who is studying in this state and who maintains a foreign residence abroad. This subdivision does not apply to:

(i) Nonimmigrant aliens who possess a valid hunting license or permit that is lawfully issued by a state in the United States.
(ii) Nonimmigrant aliens who enter the United States to participate in a competitive target shooting event or to display firearms at a sports or hunting trade show that is sponsored by a national, state or local firearms trade organization devoted to the competitive use or other sporting use of firearms.
(iii) Certain diplomats.
(iv) Officials of foreign governments or distinguished foreign visitors who are designated by the United States department of state.
(v) Persons who have received a waiver from the United States attorney general.

(f) Who has been found incompetent pursuant to rule 11, Arizona rules of criminal procedure, and who subsequently has not been found competent.

(g) Who is found guilty except insane

•   If you were discharged from the armed services of the United States under other than honorable conditions.
•   If you were not convicted of any crime involving domestic
violence as defined in section 13-3601.
See: 32-2622 B

Personal References

Not applicable

Training Requirements

As required by ARS §32-2613 and ARS §32-2632, pre-assignment training must be provided to Security Guards (currently certified AZ peace officers are exempt from training requirements). The curriculum of your training program must cover:

•   Orientation
•   Criminal law and laws of arrest
•   Uniform and grooming
•   Communications
•   Use of force
•   General security guard procedures
•   Crime scene preservation and first response
•   Ethics
•   Emergency response procedures
See: Full curriculum outline

Refresher Training:  The qualifying party of a security guard agency shall ensure that a person employed as a security guard by the agency completes eight hours of refresher training before renewing the security guard’s registration certificate. The curriculum consists of:
•   Criminal law and laws of arrest,
•   Use of force,
•   General security guard procedures,
•   Crime scene preservation and first response,
•   Ethics, and
•   Emergency response procedures.
See: R13-6-602

Firearms Training:  The qualifying party of a security guard agency shall ensure that in addition to completing the pre-assignment training described in R13-6-601 and refresher training described in R13-6-602, a security guard who will use a firearm within the scope of the security guard’s employment with the agencycompletes:
1. Sixteen hours of initial firearms-safety instruction before being assigned to a position requiring that a firearm be carried, and
2. Eight hours of annual refresher firearms-safety instruction in the use of the weapon used by the security guard before renewing the security guard’s registration certificate.
See: R13-6-603

The qualifying party shall ensure that firearms-safety training is provided by an instructor who is certified by the Department under R13-6-702 and uses the curriculum established by the

See: R13-6-603

Armed training is only valid for one calendar year. The signed armed refresher training certification form must be provided to DPS. This must be received at DPS no later than January 5 of the following year.

If the Armed Security Guard firearms refresher training is not received by DPS for each calendar year, then your Armed Security Guard registration certificate(s) may be suspended. To reinstate your armed guard card, you will have to provide an armed training verification form showing 16 hours of armed training.

Exam Requirement

Not required

Child Support

Ariz. Rev. Stat. §§ 25-517 through 25-519; Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 32-3701
Failure to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings, may bring to a suspension or revocation of an occupational license.

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