100-Yard Self-Defense Shooting

Agree that this isn’t a “liberal vs conservative” issue at all. It’s more of a case of whether the jury tends to favor police-type action (security is not police, however they are likely to fall under a similar microscope in a jury trial) or whether they sympathize with the “victim”. In my mind, unless the officer does something that is a gross violation of law and procedure, any court action is more likely to be a civil matter brought by the “victim” or their family. So maybe you’re not going to jail, but you’re still at serious risk of life-altering financial losses and doing so with a lower burden of proof.

Aside from the Hollywood action movie scenarios provided by a couple in this thread, the real world and more likely scenario I’m speaking of is a workplace violence event. So we’re talking about an employee smuggling a firearm into work and going on a shooting spree with an armed security response that is likely to be only one officer with any backup a long, long way off and probably no police response until after the fact (due to remote settings). Your rifle “self-defense” response could be anywhere from muzzle to over 100 yards due to the size of the facilities we’re talking about. And in such a scenario, we’re probably talking about someone who would be known to the officer and a shooter who likely knows, at least in a general sense, what the security response will be when they “go loud”. The concern here is in the aftermath with accusations of “excessive use of force”, which has become a very common reaction in today’s society. As with any use of force, AOJ applies as the test to whether it was justified or not. I have heard a lot of concern from the officers about how they can satisfy AOJ at 100 yards. I think you can, however I also feel you’re entering some tricky legal landscape where things start going into grey areas. And I completely understand and empathize with these guys when you start meshing a legal grey area into your job. Who wants to work in a profession where doing exactly what your job is asking of you could have you sitting in court facing the potential for severe punishment or penalty?

As to the capabilities of the security officer, the reason this has come up in the last year is due to a change in the rifle qualification requirements. Previously, rifle qualifications were fired at ranges between 5 and 50 yards, with over half the course of fire being from 25 yards and just a small portion being at the 50 yard range. A new qualification course was put in place last year and it covers a span of 3 to 100 yards with about a quarter of the course fired from 50 and 100 yard ranges. There were several other changes to the course, most notably a tightening of all the time limits throughout the course. I’ve shot the course a few times now and personally have no problem hitting a 97% score, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the qualification requirements. As with all security officer qualifiers in this state, the course is “borrowed” from well-established state or big city police department qualifications, so it will stand up just fine in court.

I have my opinions on the matter, but I thought it was a topic worthy of hearing a few 3rd party comments, just to get a feel for some sentiment from other shooters.

Scott you’re incorrect. Armed security have specific training and licensing requirements set by each state. They can only carry in the line of duty if they carry a state commission.

True, they do not have the powers of a PO but they are not treated like others who do not carry a state or federal commission.

As to your question? Absolutely and I’ll use an example of a situation I was involved in a few years back.

Coming home late one night from Clovis NM to Farwell, Tx I’m passed first by a car filled with what turned out to be some very bad guys doing over 100mph in the town of Texico, NM.

They forced me off of the road wrecking my truck.

Within seconds two NM State troopers and two Clovis LEO’s come by in hot pursuit.

My truck is driveable so I quickly follow so I can be a witness and hopefully get my truck repaired at their cost.

At the state line they were forced to drop the pursuit but I could continue. Two DPS troopers picked up the pursuit at the state line and about fifteen miles or so later the bad guys car became disabled in a field and they scattered.

I’ll shorten a long story here but I was able to corral two of them and cover the officers while they detained and cuffed the other four. Had it been necessary I could have provided lethal cover out to 400yds because of the rifle and spotlight I had. WIthout my being able to do so this could have gone very badly.

Even in the city you could easily have a situation where you observed a violent felony in progress well beyond typical handgun range requiring you to use a rifle at a hundred yards or more such as say a kidnapping or home invasion where they take hostages or use some of the hostages as shields to get from the home to their vehicle while attempting to flee.

No, that certainly isn’t always true but in some jurisdictions it’s certainly a good possibility.

Even in a state like mine we have communities where the police have no tolerance at all for armed civilians and prosecutors looking for any excuse to indict on the premise they don’t want to have vigilantes running the streets.

In most of the state however they will be looking instead for any reason not to even arrest you if it looks like you were probably acting lawfully or even questionably lawfully but with good intent.

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I’ll add another since we’re talking here about armed security.

When I was in college I worked security at a nearby nuke plant. We had standing orders to stop any vehicle that attempted to ram the gate at any entrance and were issued H&K G3’s to that end.

Actually, I’m not incorrect at all. In my state, there is NO “state commission” for licensing security guards. By our state law, a security officer is nothing but a private citizen who is employed by a licensed security company. There is certainly a benefit for the security officer, since they do have formal training through their company and the company provided liability insurance and the like. However, there is no state licensing standard and each company does things differently. A security officer with Company A is not the same as an officer with Company B. The training and qualifications of each is entirely based on what the company has set up. The only thing the state does is a standard criminal background check.

I’ve been referring to ‘Security Company A’ on this thread, as the topic is a company required rifle qualification and has nothing to do with any state licensing or outside requirements. The company decided that this is what they want to do.

Further, your two provided examples would end your employment or put you in jail in this state. A security officer with “Company A” is not authorized in any way shape or form to engage in a pursuit or perform any sort of “Police” action without direct orders from a duly sworn LEO. It is also against the law (again, here in this state) to use any level of deadly force (e.g. drawing a firearm) in response to a crime against property. You can trespass or bash down a gate or whatever against a piece of property. Security will ask you to stop. They will “observe and report”. They will call the police and the police will use the video, photo, and statements of the security officer as evidence in the property crime. Drawing a firearm against someone breaking property is a crime in itself. Now, if the person is doing something that is placing a person in any threat of physical harm, then everything changes and the force continuum opens up to include all of the standard physical tactics from hands to sprays to bullets. But you’ll never see a standing order to shoot at anyone for anything. The level of force to use should always be an officer judgement, never a standing order.

What state is that?

The crime was not a property crime in my example. Hit and run is a felony which was a minor offense compared to all the rest they had committed before and during the HS chase.

As a civilian I had ever right to try and maintain contact with the subjects that had hit me.

Upon arriving at the scene where they wrecked out I was also perfectly lawful by acting in defense of a third party who just happened to be two DPS officers that knew me.

I could not have lawfully used deadly force on the two I had corralled unless they had then used deadly force on me but had they any of them fought with the officers trying to detain them I would have been.

There is also always the “Doctrine of Necessity” in all 50 states that is a defense to prosecution.

At the nuke plant we were under federal authority and commission as they are extremely high value secure facilities so they come under different rules than typical SO jobs.

Dawn, I apologize, an anti-gun jury. For the rest, it sounds to me like this is getting very close to that line. The one where a civilian takes the law in his or her own hands. You imply that LE would be thankful. How thankful if that 80 yrd shot in the dark is at LE.

Well fortunately virtually all of us acting in self defense understand that line and that if we use deadly force unlawfully injuring an innocent person we bear both the civil and criminal liability for doing so.

The extreme rarity of such unlawful, but well intended incidents demonstrates we’re not a bunch of wild gunmen/women running around acting as vigilantes.

Yep, that’s the same equation no matter what the situation, ranger, or weapon we are using.

Or that you were lawfully acting to defend a third party.

Fortunately gunfights beyond about 30’ are extremely rare.

I’m in Alaska.

Something that people tend to forget is that we are a nation of 50 “mini-countries”, each with their own laws. When comparing laws, people need to think of the different states just as you would think of the different countries in Europe. For example, the differences between Alaska and California are like the differences between Norway and France. And this is how the USA is supposed to be. Few things irk me more in politics than when people in other states try to interfere in my state’s affairs. The nation was set up this way for a very good reason.

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Rule 4 applies. You simply do NOT take “shots in the dark” without being sure of your target. I would hope that this doesn’t even need to be said. Mistaken identity is not a justification for the application of deadly force.

Everything I’m seeing on the subject shows that to work as an armed guard you have to be licensed/commissioned by the state.

The Application Process

Alaska requires a fingerprint-based national criminal background check. This step should be carried out in advance. The fingerprint card is to be included in the application package. The Department of Public Safety has provided a list of organizations that provide fingerprinting services (http://dps.alaska.gov/Statewide/background/fingerprinters.aspx); the list is not exhaustive.

License applications are also available from the website of the Department of Public Safety (http://dps.alaska.gov/statewide/permitslicensing/securityguard.aspx).

On the form, the applicant will provide five years of employment and residence history. He or she will list three references; at least one is to be an Alaska resident.

The licensing agency will require a recent photograph (taken within the previous 30 days). It is to show the applicant from waist up.

Applicants will need to demonstrate evidence of insurance.

Armed guard applicants will need to submit a copy of their firearms certification/ qualification.

The applicant will attest to having read the applicable laws and regulations. These incude18.65.400–18.65.490 of Alaska Statute and 13 AAC 60.010–60.900 of Alaska Administrative Code.

Both the security guard and the manager or qualified agent will sign the application form. The manager will attest that ‘reasonable’ attempts have been made to determine the applicant’s qualifications. The application requires notarization.

The licensing reserves the right to contact former employers.

There are two associated fees: one for fingerprinting and one for application/ licensing. The application fee is $50. The background check is $49.75.

The security guard is employed on a temporary basis pending license approval. He or she will receive a state-issued identification card following approval.

The renewal period is two years. The renewal fee is currently $50.

The Department of Public Safety requires notification of status changes. A security guard who has changed agency will need to again provide evidence of insurance. A unarmed security guard who seeks armed status will provide a copy of the firearms qualification/ certification.


There is a serious attempt underway to eliminate the “Republic” entirely in favor of an even stronger centralized National, rather than Federal State.

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Doesn’t much matter if it’s 8", 80 or 800 yards, the same laws still apply and we’re accountable both civilly and criminally for every round we let loose.

No matter the circumstances you’d better know your target and what is beyond.

This doesn’t explain the “licensing” system very well at all. The state has no commissions. That’s not even a thing here. They license security companies through their business licensing division. Then it is up to the companies to do whatever training and certification they want to do for their officers. No individual can independently apply to be a security officer through the state. They apply through their company. The company verifies the certifications that they have set up are met, and then they sign off on the application and send it to the state. The state requirement is for a criminal background check and that the officer is employed by a licensed company. If the company is requesting an Armed license, then the company must certify that the officer has received whatever in-house firearms training/qualification they have set up. Some companies go to the range with a bucket of rust-covered revolvers every 2 years and within an hour (and sometimes with a “.38 caliber pencil”) they have “qualified” all of their people. Other companies take it far more serious and run a well-structured 2 or 3 day live fire training course on an annual basis (this is how things happen at the company I am affiliated with). The point being, the state doesn’t certify security officers. The security companies do. Then they send $50, a photo, and a signed application to the state, who sends back an ID card. The ID card actually belongs to the security company. When someone leaves employment with the company, they have to surrender their ID card back to the company.

I get it then you’e just misunderstanding the term “state commission”.

You can get trained by anyone authorized but here too in order to receive your commission’/license you either have to be working for a licenced company or meet the requirements to start your own having had at last 2 years prior working for a licensed security company/contractor.

It doesn’t mean you have to go through a state run training program or academy.

By definition, a “commission” is when the State gives some kind of authority to someone.

In Alaska, a security officer has no authority. They are legally just private citizens. The State grants them no power or authority to do anything more than what Billy Joe Bob down the street can do.

Unlike a Police officer, who actually has a level of authority “commissioned” by the State. You can tell a security officer to F off and ignore any directions they might give to you.

No, that’s simply the term applied at least in TX and NM.

We are commissioned through the TX Dpt of Public Safety (state police).

Texas Security Commission

The Texas Department of Public Safety’s Private Security Bureau issues non-commissioned officer (unarmed security) registrations and armed security officer commissions. The Bureau also licenses personal protection officers.

The applicant must meet several generic qualifications. He must be 18 years of age. He can not have been dishonorably discharged from the military. The applicant must not have committed certain types of misdemeanor offenses in the five years prior to the submission of the application. Examples of these misdemeanors include theft, issuance of a bad check for child support, abuse while in an official capacity and other moral turpitude offenses. Additionally several other misdemeanor offenses committed within five years of the application date may also disqualify the applicant although the disqualification may be subject to the discretion of the Bureau. Examples of these offenses include indecent exposure, criminal trespass and breach of computer security. And, many types of felony offenses also potentially disqualify the applicant. Examples include theft, robbery, perjury, larceny, kidnapping and embezzlement.

Texas requires a certain amount of training. Unarmed officers (non-commissioned) must take six hours of Level II training. This training may be provided through the security company that hires the officer or through one of the licensed private security schools if the company chooses to not provide it. It must occur within 14 days of the officer’s employment.

A commissioned security officer must sit for 40 hours of Level III training. This training takes place at one of the state’s licensed private security schools

During the training the student must score at least 75% on each written examination.

Non-commissioned officers do not have to sit for any continuing education. Commissioned officers must take six hours of continuing education prior to renewing a license.

The individual applying for registration as a non-commissioned security officer must submit an application fee of $33. He will also need to pay at least $25 for the fingerprinting process. Those applying for licensure as a commissioned security officer must pay an application fee of $55.

Every two years the Texas security guard’s registration must be renewed. The renewal fee is $33 with an additional $15 late fee if the renewal is up to 90 days late and $30 when the renewal is over 90 days late.


It was the same in NM when I worked security there at a couple of different bases and at the county courthouse.