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Kansas Security Guard Licensing

Warning! There is a bit of misinformation about Kansas security guard licensing on the Web. Many sites on the Web refer potential security licensees to the Kansas Attorney General's office. While the Attorney General does regulate both private detectives and firearms instructors there is no evidence to suggest either the Attorney General, the articles in section 16 of the Kansas Administrative Regulations or with minimal exception Kansas Statutes regulate security officers despite what you may read on other websites.

The Kansas private security regulatory system is accomplished and enforced by local Kansas city governments. The rules governing the licensing and regulation of the Kansas security officer may be found in local municipal codes. (See this example from the City of Lawrence - Scroll down to Article 2). A list of links to the security licensing and regulation ordinances in some of the biggest cities in Kansas can be found at the end of this article.

Step by step directions to licensure in Kansas.

  • 1. Secure employment from a Kansas security agency or private patrol operator. When attempting to gain a license the officer may be required to provide proof of employment. Also, the licensure fees for each officer may be provided by the security agency. This results in a cost savings to the officer.
  • 2. Apply for a security license from the local police department. Regulations vary from city to city. But, most cities of any significant size will require security officers to obtain a private security officer permit. This permit may also be referred to as a merchant security officer license or merchant security officer permit in the cities of Salina, Lawrence and Bonner Springs. This permit may be issued under the authority of the Chief of Police. The security officer must complete an application and submit a fee to city hall prior to receiving the permit. Here is a sample application from the Kansas City Police Department. The officer will need to subject himself to a criminal background review and provide his fingerprints. He may also need to demonstrate completion of mandated training although the city should provide a temporary license while the training is ongoing. There are other registration requirements such as the need to register any vehicle used in a security capacity. This allows the city to recognize the officer’s vehicle when he is on post. Certain cities may issue a temporary permit even if the officer has not met training requirements. For instance, in Wichita, officers can receive a temporary license for up to 90 days. The code in Topeka provides for a 60 day license with up to two 60 day extensions that may be granted by the Chief of Police.
  • 3. Take the firearms qualification test (armed officer only). Local ordinance should require each armed guard to pass a range test. The armed officer may also need to register his weapon with the licensing police department. The police department will provide the specific steps required to receive a firearms certification.
  • 4. Follow local ordinances. It is important to ask for a copy of all local ordinance and rules governing the conduct of the licensee within the city. Check to see if the ordinance for your city is listed below. If not, obtain a copy from City Hall or the local Police Department headquarters. These rules govern the conduct of the officer and failing to abide by them could lead to a loss of license. For example, Kansas City armed officers must immediately inform the police when they discharge their firearm while in the performance of their duties. This report must be made first by phone and then within 24 hours by completing the prescribed paperwork.


Certain persons may be exempt from licensing. In Kansas City, those who work security in-house on behalf of or for a single employer are not required to register. Kansas City also exempts law enforcement officials from licensure.

Generic Requirements

Certain generic requirements will apply. Applicants should expect guidelines to require they be at least 18 years of age for unarmed work and 21 years old for armed jobs. They should not have been convicted of a felony or an offense involving moral turpitude.

Local Ordinances:

These links should take you directly to the security ordinance for the listed city.

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