In this section we will attempt to answer questions that have been asked by different persons at various times. Let's take a look.
  • A security officer who is off duty and in uniform, goes out to eat with his friends and family and a situation occurs. What should the security officer do?
First things first. If the security officer is off duty, he should not be in a uniform at that point. Next, a security officer is not required to make an arrest. His main duty is to observe and report. Of course, he has the same duty as a private citizen. The easiest thing to do is, if you are not on duty and at your post, do not wear your uniform. It can be a problem magnet.
  • A Level 3 Security Officer who is off duty, armed and in uniform walks into a business which is not his post to buy an item. He is approached by a police officer. The security officer advises that he can carry his gun anywhere since he is in uniform. Is the security officer correct?
I advised the security officer that he faced possible arrest and losing his commission. The law allows for private citizens to carry a firearm through two other laws. If that security officer is off duty, he should not be in his/her uniform and carry under the Texas Carry act or get a License to Carry.
I completed my Level 3 class and I have applied for my Level 3 Commissioned Card. Can I carry my weapon while I am on duty before my pocket card arrives?
No! Your pocket card must be in your possession, in your pocket. That's why it's called a pocket card.

RULE §35.82        Commissioned Security Officer Standards
(a) Commissioned security officers shall carry their pocket cards while on duty and when traveling to and from the place of assignment, and shall present the cards upon request by a peace officer or to a representative of the department.

(b) A commissioned security officer shall not:

  (1) Perform the duties of a commissioned security officer for any person(s) other than the licensed employer reflected in department records;

  (2) Possess or use any security officer commission pocket card that has been altered; or

  (3) Deface or allow improper use of his security officer commission pocket card.

(c) Commissioned private security officers shall comply with §35.14 of this title (relating to Security Officer Uniforms).

(d) Subsection (c) of this section does not apply to a personal protection officer while performing personal protection services in plain clothes.

Can I work security on my own without the permission and being scheduled by the company to whom my pocket card or information in TOPS shows that I am affiliated?

No! You can not. You can be arrested for a Class A Misdemeanor for Operating A Security Company Without A License and there may also be additional charges.  Your individual Level 2, Level 3 or Level 4 License does not give you the authority to act as a Security Company. This also applies to all individual licenses issued by the Private Security Bureau.
(8-a)  "Individual license" means a license issued by the department that entitles an individual to perform a service regulated by this chapter for a company license holder, including a personal protection officer license.

(5-b)  "Company license" means a license issued by the department that entitles a person to operate as a security services contractor or investigations company.

Can I carry a semi-automatic handgun if I only qualify with a revolver?

(a) In addition to the firearm qualification requirements as set forth in the Act, a department approved firearm training instructor may qualify a student by using:

  (1) The Texas Department of Public Safety Primary Issued Handgun Qualification Course; or

  (2) The Texas Department of Public Safety Approved License to Carry Handgun License Course.

(b) All individuals qualifying with a firearm to satisfy the requirements of the Act shall qualify with an actual demonstration by the individual of the ability to safely and proficiently use the category of firearm for which the individual seeks qualification.

(c) The categories of handguns are:

  (1) SA--Semi-automatic; and

  (2) NSA--Non semi-automatic.

(d) The SA qualification authorizes the carrying of either semi-automatic or non semi-automatic handguns.

(e) For purposes of this chapter and compliance with §1702.1685 of the Act, a firearms instructor who holds a firearms instructor proficiency certificate issued by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement is a department approved instructor for the limited purpose of the firearm qualification of retired law enforcement officers licensed under the Act as commissioned security officers or personal protection officers. A certificate issued under this subsection need not comply with §35.147(b)(3)(A), (B) (with respect to the approval number only), or (C), of this chapter.

New Laws January 1, 2024
HB 3424 Requires that all armed security officers complete a MMPI as part of their licensing process. Contact your company for information. This is not a hoax. Your license is in jeopardy if you do not complete the MMPI prior to initial registration or during your proficiency (renewal) for armed security officers.