Have you ever wondered if private investigators really carry guns like on TV or in the movies? Is it just for show or is there a deeper reason behind it? In this article, we will explore the reasons and legalities behind private investigators carrying firearms. So sit tight and let’s dive into the world of private investigations!
What Do Private Investigators Do?
Before we answer if private investigators really do carry guns, we need to understand what private investigators really are and what they are not. There are many different things that private investigators do on a daily basis, with many specializing in various niche investigative fields. While some of their tasks may seem like common sense, others require special skills and training. Here are just a few of the many things that private investigators do:
1. Some private investigators conduct surveillance. This could be anything from tailing a subject to setting up hidden cameras to capture footage. These investigators will frequently work for insurance companies and attorneys trying to prove deception or criminal activity.
2. They interview people. Private investigators are frequently hired by law firms to locate and interview witnesses, victims, and suspects in a case.
3. They gather evidence. This could be anything from photos and videos to open-source intelligence and public records.
4. Some private investigators specialize in white-collar crime and will spend the majority of their time analyzing data. This could include going through phone records, financial records, and social media accounts.
5. They write reports. This is how they communicate their findings to their clients or the authorities.
As one can see, there is a large breadth of what private investigators do. Some spend most of their time in the field, while others may never leave their home office.
So, Do Private Investigators Carry Guns?
Many people have the image of a gun-toting gumshoe private investigator stuck in their heads from classic noir films and action-packed tv shows of yesteryear. While this image is completely fiction, and private investigators do not get into shootouts and car chases, many do carry on the job. In the United States, most states allow private investigators to legally carry firearms if they have a valid license. There are a few states where investigators are not allowed to carry handguns, but the vast majority of states allow PIs to be armed. Some private investigators choose to carry a gun, while others do not. There are several reasons why a private investigator might choose to carry a gun, but first, let’s look at what PIs must do to legally be able to carry a firearm.
Florida’s G License
Carrying a gun comes with significant responsibility and liability risks, so it’s not a decision that should be made lightly. Investigators who choose to carry a gun must receive proper training in how to safely use and store their weapon, as well as pass the proper academic and practical examinations to show proficiency in its use.
As a private investigator in Florida, you are required to have a firearms license if you want to carry a gun while working. This license is different than the normal concealed carry weapons permit issued to Florida residents for everyday carry. The process to get an armed investigators license in Florida is much more in-depth than a normal CCW. Here is a step-by-step guide on how PIs obtain your Florida Armed Investigator G License:
1. The private investigator must submit an application to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. They will need to provide proof of residency, fingerprints, and pass a background check which includes a signature from a medical provider stating they are physically capable and of sound mind.
2. Then private investigators must attend a mandatory firearms safety course offered by a certified K-licensed instructor. The course is 28 hours in total and the investigators must accurately fire 144 rounds over a multiple-stage course of fire. The course includes various distances, operating the weapon with both hands, as well as left and right hand only shooting stances while drawing from the holster. At the end of the course the investigator must also pass the state academic test showing knowledge of state laws regarding self-defense and carrying of firearms.
3. The private investigator must then submit their certificate of completion from the firearms safety course, along with their application, to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
4. Once the application has been processed, the private investigator will be issued a Florida G License which allows them carrying while in the performance of their job, as well as in some areas normally restricted for CCW holders.
Reasons Private Investigators Carry Guns
There are a variety of reasons why a private investigator (PI) might carry a gun. A PI may feel that carrying a gun is necessary for their personal safety given their specialty and field of investigation. Some private investigators carry guns because they have prior law enforcement or military experience, and simply have a habit of being armed at all times. Other investigators have had bad experiences in the past that led them to believe that carrying a gun is the best way to protect themselves for self-defense. One thing private investigators are not however is crime-fighting superheroes looking for a fight. Private investigators would rather that you not even notice they are there, and would rather walk away from a confrontation.
In the case of private investigators that conduct surveillance, field interviews, and conduct process serving, they may find themselves being confronted by aggressive individuals. Depending on what the case is about, many individuals can become angry when discovering a private investigator is asking around about them or trying to catch them doing something they shouldn’t. Other times private investigators have been confronted by individuals who have nothing to do with a case, but because they observe the investigator in the area and assume they are there for something else.
In the case of Florida, private investigators may also be required to carry for security reasons. In Florida, private investigators are licensed to perform executive protection and bodyguard services. These protection details often require that the investigator be armed in the course of their duty to protect their clients or their client’s valuables. Private Investigators are the only security professionals in Florida licensed to carry concealed and in plain clothes when compared to normal D-licensed security guards.
Finally, some private investigators may carry guns to deter potential criminals. The fact is a private investigator never knows where a case may take them, which includes bad areas of town often at odd hours. Carrying a firearm is a natural extension and tool of self-defense allowing the private investigator to carry out their duties on behalf of their clients while protecting themselves.
Do You Require a Private Investigator?
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