74C-13. Armed licensee or registered employee required to have firearm registration permit; firearms training.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person performing private protective services duties to carry a firearm in the performance of those duties without first having met the qualifications of this section and having been issued a firearm registration permit by the Board. A licensee shall register any individual carrying a firearm within 30 days of employment. Before engaging in any private protective services activity, the individual shall receive any required training prescribed by the Board.

(a1) The following definitions apply in this section:

(1) Armed private investigator. - A licensed private investigator who, at any time, wears, carries, or possesses a firearm in the performance of duty.

(1a) Armed security guard. - An individual employed by a contract security company or a proprietary security organization whose principal duty is that of an armed security watchman; armed armored car service guard; armed alarm system company responder; or armed courier service who at any time wears, carries, or possesses a firearm in the performance of duty.

(2) Contract security company. - Any person, firm, association, or corporation engaging in a private protective services profession that provides services on a contractual basis for a fee or other valuable consideration to any other person, firm, association, or corporation.

(3) Proprietary security organization. - Any person, firm, association, or corporation or department thereof which employs security guards, alarm responders, armored car personnel, or couriers who are employed regularly and exclusively as an employee by an employer in connection with the business affairs of the employer.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, association, or corporation and its agents and employees to employ an armed security guard or an armed private investigator and knowingly authorize or permit the armed security guard or armed private investigator to carry a firearm during the course of performing his or her duties as an armed security guard or an armed private investigator if the Board has not issued him or her a firearm registration permit under this section or if the person, firm, association, or corporation permits an armed security guard or an armed private investigator to carry a firearm during the course of performing his or her duties whose firearm registration permit has been suspended, revoked, or has otherwise expired:

(1) A firearm registration permit grants authority to the armed security guard, or armed private investigator, while in the performance of his or her duties or traveling directly to and from work, to carry any firearm approved by the Board and not otherwise prohibited by law. The use of any firearm not approved by the Board is prohibited.

(2) All firearms carried by authorized armed security guards in the performance of their duties shall be owned or leased by the employer. Personally owned firearms shall not be carried by an armed security guard in the performance of his or her duties.

(c) The applicant for a firearm registration permit shall submit an application to the Board on a form provided by the Board.

(d) Each firearm registration permit issued under this section to an armed security guard shall be in the form of a pocket card designed by the Board and shall identify the contract security company or proprietary security organization by whom the holder of the firearm registration permit is employed. A firearm registration permit issued to an armed security guard expires one year after the date of its issuance and must be renewed annually unless the permit holder's employment terminates before the expiration of the permit. The Board may require all permit holders to complete continuing education courses approved by the Board before renewal of their permits.

(d1) Each firearm registration permit issued under this section to an armed private investigator shall be in the form of a pocket card designed by the Board and shall identify the name of the armed private investigator. While carrying a firearm and engaged in private protective services, the armed private investigator shall carry the firearms registration permit issued by the Board, together with valid identification, and shall disclose to any law enforcement officer that the person holds a valid permit and is carrying a firearm, whether concealed or in plain view, when approached or addressed by the law enforcement officer, and shall display both the permit and the proper identification upon the request of a law enforcement officer. A private investigator firearm registration permit expires one year from the date of issuance and shall be renewed annually. The Board may require all permit holders to complete continuing education courses approved by the Board before renewal of their permits.

(e) If an armed security guard terminates his or her employment with the contract security company or proprietary security organization, the firearm registration permit expires and must be returned to the Board within 15 working days of the date of termination of the employee.

(f) A contract security company or proprietary security organization shall be allowed to employ an individual for 30 days as an armed security guard pending completion of the firearms training required by this Chapter, if the contract security company or proprietary security organization obtains prior approval from the Director. The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall provide by rule the procedure by which an armed private investigator, a contract security company, or a proprietary security organization applicant may be issued a temporary firearm registration permit by the Director of the Board pending a determination by the Board of whether to grant or deny an applicant a firearm registration permit.

(g) The Board may suspend, revoke, or deny a firearm registration permit if the holder or applicant has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude or any crime involving the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a deadly weapon or for violation of this section or rules promulgated by the Board to implement this section. The Director may summarily suspend a firearm registration permit pending resolution of charges involving the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a firearm lodged against the holder of the permit.

(h) The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall establish a firearms training program for licensees and registered employees to be conducted by agencies and institutions approved by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety. The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety may approve training programs conducted by a contract security company and the security department of a proprietary security organization, if the contract security company or security department of a proprietary security organization offers the courses listed in subdivision (1) of this subsection and if the instructors of the training program are certified trainers approved by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety:

(1) The basic training course approved by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall consist of a minimum of four hours of classroom training which shall include all of the following:

a. Legal limitations on the use of hand guns and on the powers and authority of an armed security guard.

b. Familiarity with this section.

c. Range firing and procedure and hand gun safety and maintenance.

d. Any other topics of armed security guard training curriculum which the Board deems necessary.

(2) An applicant for a firearm registration permit must fire a minimum qualifying score to be determined by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety on any approved target course approved by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety.

(3) A firearms registrant must complete a refresher course and shall requalify on the prescribed target course prior to the renewal of his or her firearm registration permit.

(4) The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall have the authority to promulgate all rules necessary to administer the provisions of this section concerning the training requirements of this section.

(i) The Board may not issue a firearm registration permit to an applicant until the applicant's employer submits evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant:

(1) Has satisfactorily completed an approved training course.

(2) Meets all the qualifications established by this section and by the rules promulgated to implement this section.

(3) Is mentally and physically capable of handling a firearm within the guidelines set forth by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety.

(j) The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety are authorized to prescribe reasonable rules to implement this section, including rules for periodic requalification with the firearm and for the maintenance of records relating to persons issued a firearm registration permit by the Board.

(k) All fees collected pursuant to G.S. 74C-9(e)(7) and (8) shall be expended, under the direction of the Board, for the purpose of defraying the expense of administering the firearms provisions of this Chapter.

(l) The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall establish a training program for certified trainers to be conducted by agencies and institutions approved by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety. The Board or the Secretary of Public Safety shall have the authority to promulgate all rules necessary to administer the provisions of this subsection.

(1) The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall also establish renewal requirements for certified trainers. The Board may require all certified trainers to complete continuing education courses approved by the Board before renewal of their certifications.

(2) No certified firearms trainer shall certify a licensee or registrant unless the licensee or registrant has successfully completed the firearms training requirements set out above in subsection (h) of this section.

(m) The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall establish a training program for unarmed security guards to be conducted by agencies and institutions approved by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety. The Board and the Secretary of Public Safety shall have the authority to promulgate all rules necessary to administer the provisions of this subsection.

(n) A private investigator shall be permitted to carry a concealed weapon during the performance of his or her duties as a private investigator upon: (i) obtaining a concealed weapon permit issued pursuant to G.S. 14-415.11; (ii) successfully completing the firearms training course approved by the Board and the Secretary of Public Safety; and (iii) having a notation affixed to the face of the firearms registration card designating that the armed private investigator is allowed to carry a concealed weapon. A private investigator who does not carry a weapon during the course of his or her duties as a private investigator but who wishes to carry a concealed weapon while not engaged in private investigative duties shall be permitted to do so upon completion of the requirements set forth in Article 54B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes. (1979, c. 818, s. 2; 1983, c. 67, s. 3; 1989, c. 759, s. 11; 2001-487, s. 64(h); 2007-511, s. 8; 2009-328, s. 10; 2014-100, s. 17.5(b).)