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4 Misperceptions about What a Guard Card is and How It Can Be Used

02.23.2015

First off, what is a Guard Card? Simply put… a Guard Card is the most essential item you need in your possession when working as a Security Guard.  Ultimately, it is the piece of identification that says you are registered within California to be working as a Security Guard.

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That basic description would be the end of this blog if it weren’t for the unending misperceptions about what the card is and allows you to do.  Let’s examine a few of those misperceptions and try to separate truth from fiction.

  1. Only Certain Jobs Require a Guard Card

That’s true.  If you work the fryer at a fast food chain, you don’t need a Guard Card.  But if you work in the capacity of a Security Guard, you NEED A GUARD CARD.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you’re part time or asked to work security detail for a day.  In order to act as a Security Guard, the California law requires that you be registered with – and have in your possession – a Guard Card (or a printout of a temporary card from the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services) along with a Government ID.

  1. Got my Guard Card! Now All I Need is a Gun and I’m Good to Go?

Hm, not quite.  Just simply having a Guard Card does not mean you’re allowed to carry a weapon.  A great deal more training is involved to being allowed to carry a gun as well as to know how to use it when working as a Security Guard.  It’s called an “Exposed Firearm Permit.”

In fact, only a small percentage of Security Guard jobs require the need for a gun.  Some might require a Taser (which requires additional training) or baton (which requires additional training and certification), but most simply require smarts and common sense – and a Guard Card with additional training.

  1. If I Don’t Have a Guard Card, Any Liability Falls On My Employer

Yeah – nice try.

But let’s put it this way: If someone is hired into a security guard or officer role, but is found to not have their Guard Card, then both the employer and employee may be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be arrested.  Additionally, there may be civil liabilities for either or both parties, as detailed in California Business and Professions Code Section 16240.

  1. A Guard Card Lasts For As Long As Your Job Lasts

Your Guard Card’s longevity is not tied to a particular job – it’s tied to the calendar.

Simply put, your Guard Card lasts 2 years.  Then it’s time to renew!  This requires an application and fees, but you also need to take and pass a refresher course.

The above are just a few of the common misperceptions when it comes to understanding what a Guard Card is.  Trust me – there are many more.  But the experts at MySecurityTraining.com can answer all your questions about requirements, life on the job, and how you can complete your training hours online.

If you have questions or need more information, feel free to contact us using the form here, or call us any time at (855) 212-6828.

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