In the age of heated correctional officer and inmate tensions, it’s natural to wonder whether correctional officers carry guns on the job. The truth is that it varies from state to state. Some COs are armed while others aren’t. People who are applying for an officer position need to be aware that their state might not permit COs to carry firearms before they apply. In general, a correctional officer’s primary responsibility is to keep the facility safe by enforcing rules, regulations, and policies while monitoring inmates at all times. In some states, this may include arming correctional officers with mace or pepper spray as well as batons or tasers but not guns. Other states might permit COs to carry concealed weapons so long as they have a valid permit. And other states don’t allow any of these methods but require workers to abide by strictly-enforced safety precautions and procedures instead. Here’s a closer look at whether correctional officers carry guns in every state.
Do Correctional Officers Carry Guns?
Many correctional officers don’t carry guns, but some do. It varies from state to state and even prison to prison. Some correctional officers may feel safer carrying a gun, while others may feel that it’s not necessary. Either way, it’s ultimately up to the individual officer.
Why Don’t All Correctional Officers Carry Guns?
1. Safety Concerns
In the late 1990s, the National Institute of Corrections released a report detailing problems with arming correctional officers. The report found that when COs carried firearms, inmates were more likely to become violent toward them. In some cases, COs were even killed by inmates who had access to weapons.
2. Cost Concerns
It costs money to train correctional officers and arm them with guns. In states where COs are armed, there are higher training requirements and more security measures in place to prevent inmates from stealing or using their weapons against other inmates or officers. Many states simply don’t have the budget for this type of security system.
3. Lack of Funding for Additional Officers
If a state decides to arm its correctional officers, it may need to hire more people in order to provide 24-hour coverage at each facility. This means that even if an individual officer is carrying a gun at all times, their won’ is armed, and they may not be able to provide adequate coverage.
Correctional Officers Who Carry Guns
According to the California Department of Corrections, correctional officers may not carry firearms while on duty. However, they are permitted to carry firearms when off-duty. Even though correctional officers may not carry guns while on duty, they must be armed and prepared for any emergency situation. COs in California are also required to undergo extensive firearms training as well as monthly safety inspections.
In Florida, correctional officers can legally carry concealed weapons if they have a concealed weapon permit (CWP). They must also undergo at least eight hours of additional training each year. If an officer is caught carrying a gun without a CWP or the proper training, he or she could face serious consequences including termination or even felony charges. In addition, the department’s policy states that “the Department will not allow any employee to possess or use weapons for which such person does not have authorization from the Department” (Florida DOC). While correctional officers in Florida canard off or protect against an attack.”
In Kentucky, correctional officers are allowed to carry firearms while on duty. However, they must abide by strict safety procedures and policies that are monitored by the state’s Board of Corrections. In addition, the state requires officers to undergo annual firearms training and monthly safety inspections. The department also requires COs to carry at least one form of nonlethal force in case an inmate attacks them with a weapon or causes a disturbance that threatens the safety of others in the facility.
Michigan correctional officers can legally carry concealed weapons if they have a CWP and are licensed by the Michigan State Police. The state also has strict policies on weapons use and possession that include prohibiting correctional officers from carrying guns into areas where inmates have access to contraband like drugs, tobacco products, alcohol, or cell phones—but not guns themselves. In general, COs cannot use physical force unless itarden-approved personal protection.”
COs Who Don’t Carry Guns
Georgia is one of the few states that doesn’t allow correctional officers to carry a firearm on their person during work hours.
Correctional officers in Massachusetts are not allowed to carry a firearm on their person while working. They may, however, have a concealed weapon permit and use lethal force in situations where there’s an imminent threat of harm. This applies to COs only; inmates are given no such allowances.
3. New York
In New York, correctional officers aren’t allowed to carry firearms on or off duty unless they have a valid concealed weapons permit and the state gives them permission to do so. This can be done if the prison has an approved armed guard program and the CO is trained in how to use lethal force if necessary. In addition, NY COs may be armed with mace or pepper spray as long as they have permits for each one of these items as well as any other weapons they might carry.
4. North Carolina
Correctional officers in North Carolina are not allowed to carry a firearm on their person during work hours. However, they may have a concealed weapons permit and use lethal force in situations where there’s an imminent threat of harm. This applies to COs only; inmates are given no such allowances.
In California, correctional officers aren’t allowed to carry firearms on or off duty unless they have a valid concealed weapons permit and the state gives them permission to do so. This can be done if the prison has an approved armed guard program and the CO is trained in how to use lethal force if necessary. In addition, COs may be armed with mace or pepper spray as long as they have permits for each one of these items as well as any other weapons they might carry.
Other Important Details To Know About Correctional Officers And Guns
- Some states don’t allow correctional officers to carry guns at all.
- In other states, COs can carry concealed weapons as long as they have a valid permit or are in compliance with the state’s rules and regulations.
- The type of weapon that correctional officers carry depends on the state they work in, as well as their department’s policies and procedures.
- Some states may allow correctional officers to wear firearms while off-duty but only if they are retired from the agency or are retired military personnel with a valid CCW permit.
- Many states require COs to complete extensive training on shooting and using firearms before they are allowed to carry them on the job—and some require yearly refresher training for all employees who want to be armed on the job.
In general, the decision to arm correctional officers with firearms is solely up to each state government. Some states require COs to be armed while others don’t. COs who are expected to carry guns on the job should be prepared to use them at any time. COs who don’t carry guns should be prepared to use non-lethal methods of protecting themselves and others on the job.