bar security guards Austin Texas
April 24th, 2012 by TCTA admin

Have you ever gone to a bar or club and seen armed security guards providing service inside the establishment? Many individuals question whether or not bodyguards or armed security can legally work in bars.

Businesses turn down security services because they aren’t clear if guards can legitimately work armed or not; private security companies have and still report other guard companies if they spot guards of a different company working at a bar or club armed – thinking they are correct. Even law enforcement have been (and some still are), unsure if and how to enforce this.

Texas Penal codeTexas Penal Code section 46.02 (a-2) (c) Unlawful Carry of Weapons, which everyone pointed to clearly states that it is a Felony of the 3rd degree if the offense is committed at any premises licensed by the state to sell alcohol, (bar).

However, we have recently discovered with the help of TABC Information Officer “Meredith Muñoz”, the following code which allows private security commissioned officers and personal protection officers (bodyguards) to work inside a bar with NO violation at all. This is great news for everyone!

Armed guards working in bars

can armed guards work barsMany security officers had questions when working these types of accounts and details (bars) – were they or their company in violation? Well now the answer is “NO,” you are not in violation, so go out and get those bar accounts – Enjoy!!!

Here is the code that “Overrides” and provides an “Exemption” to security against being arrested for violation of TPC 46.02

Texas Penal Code Sec. 46.15. NON-APPLICABILITY.

(a) Sections 46.02 and 46.03 do not apply to peace officers and neither section prohibits a peace officer from carrying a weapon in this state regardless of whether the officer is engaged in the actual discharge of the officer’s duties while carrying the weapon.

  • 2) is on the person’s own premises or premises under the person’s control, the person is an employee or agent of the owner of the premises and the person’s primary responsibility is to act in the capacity of a security guard to protect persons or property, in which event the person must comply with Subdivision (5);
  • (5) holds a security officer commission issued by the Texas Board of Private armed guards in barsInvestigators and Private Security Agencies, if:
  • (A) the person is engaged in the performance of the person’s duties as a security officer or traveling to and from the person’s place of assignment;
  • (B) the person is wearing a distinctive uniform; and
  • (C) the weapon is in plain view;
  • (7) holds a security officer commission and a Personal Protection (PPO) authorization issued by the Texas Board of Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies and who is providing personal protection under the Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act (Article 4413(29bb), Vernon’s Texas Civil Statutes); or
  • (8) holds an alcoholic beverage permit or license or is an employee of a holder of an alcoholic beverage permit or license if the person is supervising the operation of the permitted or licensed premises.

Is it legal for armed guards to work in clubs?

Armed guards working in barsSo right here, it says we are exempted from the law of TPC 46.02 which is the felony offense everyone was afraid of.

This next section can be used to show your client (bar owner) from TABC rules /codes. They may be fearful that TABC may cancel their permit for allowing firearms in their bar, which is normally a violation.


(e) Except as provided by Subsection (f) or (i), the commission or administrator shall cancel an original or renewal permit if it is found, after notice and hearing, that the permittee knowingly allowed a person to possess a firearm in a building on the licensed premises.

 This subsection does NOT apply to a person:

  • (1) who holds a security officer commission issued under Chapter 1702, Occupations Code, if:
  • (A) the person is engaged in the performance of the person’s duties as a security officer;
  • (B) the person is wearing a distinctive uniform; and
  • (C) the weapon is in plain view;
  • (2) who is a peace officer;

So the bar is covered and/or protected, and licensed commissioned officers are protected here under these for armed security to work in bars

Bar and Club Owners:

Now that you are fully informed and know that you can legally have armed guards providing security services inside your property, be sure to avoid the following from happening at your facility –

Armed robbery at sports bar (see video)

For more information about bar security, contact Texas Certified Training Academy.

Posted in Laws & Regulations Tagged with: , , , , , , ,