A new law makes California’s oversight over the booming guard industry one of the strongest in the country. Credit: Sarah Rice for Reveal

This year has seen few successes for increased training and regulation of security guards, according to a new Stateline report.

The news report, citing Reveal’s Hired Guns investigation, found lawmakers in many states had tried and largely failed to increase regulation of security guards this year.

About 90 security-related bills were introduced in state legislatures, the report states, but none of the bills that would have created substantial changes were enacted, according to Steve Amitay, director of the National Association of Security Companies.

“In some of these states, it’s a very anti-regulatory environment and they think any additional regulation on businesses or people performing services is bad,” Amitay said in the report. “With other folks, it’s a resource issue. For the state to start regulating an industry and requiring licenses requires initial appropriations and startup costs.”

One of the failed bills would have required guards in Connecticut to receive 16 hours of training, instead of eight, and an additional 16 hours of firearms training for armed guards. Connecticut Democratic state Rep. Stephen Dargan said he was inspired to act following the mass shootings in Newton.

“With what’s going on around the country right now and after our horrific incident in Newtown, we thought this was an important issue,” Dargan said.

But the bill failed, Dargan said, in part because of pushback from security companies.

“Sometimes, you get pushback from some of these security companies,” Dargan said. “Often, in tough economic times, it’s the cost factor.”

Check out Reveal’s interactive map to look up regulations in your state.

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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.