Personal Protection Specialist Credential with Firearms

By: John S. Negus

As the Assistant Executive Director of EPI, I find myself answering this question quite frequently. I am publishing my reply in the hopes that others may learn as well. This question is in regards to the Personal Protection Specialist Credential with Firearms Endorsement that student’s are able to obtain upon completion of our 7 Day Program.

“I need to know if this will allow me to travel with my client and be armed all the time.  Any helpful information would be greatly appreciated. ”

Here is an answer to the above question.

Throughout the US, Security and Handgun Licensing Laws are managed by each state.  As a result of this, if you wanted to be armed in any state you travel and work in, you would have to be licensed with all the requisite firearms + security training and a Handgun License and Security License in each state. Each state has its own course that you would have to take.  They don’t as a general rule; accept any other course from another state.

Even as a Retired New York City Police Sergeant, under Federal law, I can carry a firearm for my own protection in other states as long as I comply with yearly training and a couple of other admin details with exceptions.

BUT, I cannot work a Security detail without obtaining the State Security License I am working in and if I need to be armed for WORK, I need to comply with that states licensing rules for work firearms.

There are some exceptions in some cases to the personal carry laws in some states. For instance, if you obtain a Florida Carry License, it’s good in about 28 other states.  Not New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.  Check with Florida on details.

Something else you should consider.  I have found over my 30+ years of working protection both Governmental and Private, it’s not really about the Firearm in Personal Protection domestically within the United States.  By conducting a Threat Assessment or having someone assist you with this, you flesh out any threats or other factors that might impact your client and you then plan a strategy, utilize methods, procedures and countermeasures to minimize exposure and always have backup and alternate plans to avoid, avert and dissuade any possible issue.
The standard basic plan in the event of any situation is usually Cover and Evacuate.

Protective strategies utilize “Concentric Rings of Protection”.  Sort of like an Onion.  By setting up these countermeasures, such as rings of screeners, it lets the Security Professional create zones or layers of security where anyone coming in close proximity to the client, has been scrutinized or screened by more than a few people looking for things out of place or any disturbing behaviors that can be interceded before they get close to the client.
In effect, it’s an early warning system which after being notified lets you move them out of range of any incident in general.

If the situation appears that it’s a higher threat, I usually hire Armed Retired LEO’s (Law Enforcement Officers) who are licensed in the state you’re in and use them in the middle or outer perimeter as Screeners and liaison to local law enforcement in the unlikely event of an incident.  That way, you as the close protection agent, can cover and evacuate, keeping the client away from any part of the incident and they’re not in the next morning’s news paper or TV.  Low key is the best method.

Besides the EP Training company EPI,  we are a full service security company based in New York City with over 500 personnel of which we have over 80 Retired LEO’s that are specially trained and just do High End Special Events, Executive Protection, Secure Transportation or Event Planning.  In addition, we work throughout the US and in Foreign Countries.