As part of Hired Guns, our new investigation with CNN, we combed through the various levels of training and regulations that each state mandates for armed security guards. Spoiler alert: Most states don’t require much.

Our handy interactive gives you an easy look at how each state stacks up. For those curious to dig deeper, we’ve made the data we gathered easy to download. Whether you’re a reporter writing a story about how your state regulates (or doesn’t regulate) armed guards, or an interested citizen wanting to learn more, just fill out the form below.

You’ll get a zip file that includes a spreadsheet with the regulations broken out by state, along with a readme document explaining the fields in the spreadsheet and how to credit The Center for Investigative Reporting in your work.

We’d love to see local media stories about the armed security guard industry, so please get in touch if you have any questions about the reporting or data. You can email me at


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Cole Goins is the director of community engagement for Reveal, where he cultivates partnerships that blend in-depth journalism and creative public engagement. He has built and supported distribution networks, spearheaded arts-based initiatives such as the Off/Page Project, led social media and audience strategy, and facilitated statewide media collaborations. He was a senior fellow in the 2015 USC Annenberg Health Journalism Fellowships, mentoring five journalists on approaches to community engagement. Previously, Goins was the engagement editor at the Center for Public Integrity, where he led audience development initiatives and multimedia features for award-winning investigative projects. He earned a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he worked as music director for WXYC, the student-run radio station. He is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.