A newly released report has confirmed many of the findings of Hired Guns, a Reveal/CNN investigation that uncovered lax oversight and regulation of the armed security guard industry.

The report will be the topic of a hearing Wednesday in the state’s Capitol. Lawmakers plan to question the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services about its oversight and enforcement practices, including some of the issues highlighted in Reveal’s investigation.

Among the recommendations made by the Joint Oversight committees:

  • The bureau should begin collecting and providing more information on security guard shootings, including the bureau’s investigation of security guard shootings.
  • The bureau should investigate the possibility of requiring mental health examinations for armed guard applicants.
  • The bureau should evaluate whether current firearm training requirements are sufficient.

The report and hearing comes after Reveal found that regulators have failed to thoroughly investigate security guard shootings in the state. Reveal also found that California is among many states that do not require mental health evaluations for armed guards, and the state requires just six hours of range time before a guard can be posted on the job with a gun.

The report shed some light on other issues facing the state of California, including citations that have not kept pace with our financial times. Currently, guards can only be fined $25 if they’re caught working without firearms qualification cards, a penalty that was set more than 20 years ago.

Check back Wednesday for Reveal’s coverage of the hearing. You also can read the report in its entirety here.

This story was edited by Amy Pyle and copy edited by Sheela Kamath. 

Shoshana Walter can be reached at swalter@revealnews.org. Follow her on Twitter: @shoeshine.

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Shoshana Walter was a senior reporter and producer at Reveal, covering the criminal justice and child welfare systems. She's working on a book for Simon & Schuster about the failures of our country's addiction treatment system. At Reveal, she reported on exploitative drug rehab programs that require participants to work without pay, armed security guards, and sex abuse and trafficking in the marijuana industry. Her reporting has prompted new laws, numerous class-action lawsuits and government investigations. Her stories have been named finalists for the Pulitzer Prize, Selden Ring and National Magazine Awards. She has also been honored with the Livingston Award for National Reporting, the IRE medal, the Edward R. Murrow award, the Knight Award for Public Service, a Loeb Award and Sigma Delta Chi Award for investigative reporting. Her Reveal podcast, "American Rehab," was named one of the best podcasts of the year by The New Yorker and The Atlantic and prompted a congressional investigation.

Walter began her career as a police reporter for The Ledger in Lakeland, Florida, and previously covered violent crime and the politics of policing in Oakland, California, for The Bay Citizen. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she has been a Dart Center Ochberg fellow for journalism and trauma at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim fellow in criminal justice journalism. She is a fellow with the Watchdog Writers Group at the University of Missouri School of Journalism and is based in Oakland, California.