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Can Private Security Carry Guns in UK?

No, private security, same as with other security officers, are not legally permitted to carry guns or be armed in the UK. Have it in mind that laws and restrictions forbid security personnel from carrying weapons since it is contrary to the law.

This also applies to personal bodyguards in the UK. Note that in the United Kingdom, there are very stringent laws when it comes to carrying weapons, and security guards are not exempted from this. Security guards and bodyguards are not permitted to carry weapons.

The main objective of private security and bodyguards is to ensure the safety of people and businesses, and there are various means to ensure that this goal is attained without the need to carry guns. Security personnel are most often trained in the use of force but will try and de-escalate situations before force is necessary

They are also highly observant and can detect suspicious behavior quickly, allowing them to react. Most often, the use of force is noted as a last resort, as a court will need to be convinced that the force was necessary and justified.

In the United Kingdom, the law outlines that security guards are not allowed to carry weapons. Nevertheless, security guards are allowed to carry and use handcuffs. Aside from that, security guards must be adequately trained to reduce the possibility of violence and to avert any form of injury.

According to research, gun control laws were enacted and signed in 1997, when the private possession of guns and weapons became restricted. The primary reason for this restriction was the mass shooting at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland, which regrettably led to the deaths of a lot of kids.

Also note that a good number of police officers within the U.K. are unarmed when on duty, although this doesn’t include Northern Ireland owing to the ever-existing possibility of sectarian violence.

Since the use of guns is barely common within the U.K., there is little support for security guards to carry guns as most people believe that this is excessive.

Weapons Permitted for Private Security

Since the use of guns are rare in the United Kingdom, below are equipment and weapons private security are permitted to carry;

  1. A telephone, to ensure that they can call for help if there is an issue on-site.
  2. A torch. To make sure that they can see at all times, a flashlight (preferably a hands-free light) would have to be worn or carried.
  3. A GPS/location tracker system. Also note that a private security is permitted to carry a location tracking device, not only to be tracked for safety reasons but also to ensure that they can be monitored to note if tasks and checkpoints are being followed.
  4. ID, to make sure that the guard can be easily identified on site as having permission to be there.
  5. High vis and other safety equipment. Based on the site the guard is working at, a good number of safety equipment including hard hats, high vis clothing, and steel toe-capped shoes are a requirement in order to keep safe.

Places Private Security Can’t Enter With Weapons

In the United Kingdom, the possession of firearms by private individuals and security is heavily regulated. There are stringent rules regarding the possession, acquisition, and use of firearms.

Most often, private securities are not allowed to be in possession of guns. Nevertheless, in the United Kingdom, there are specific places where any form of weapon is prohibited for all individuals, including private security. These places include;

Schools: No type of weapon is allowed in or on school premises.

Hospitals: It is considered illegal to be in possession of weapons in hospitals, except in certain authorized cases and that will only be law enforcement officers.

Government Buildings: This is also another place where no one is allowed to be in possession of weapons. This will most often include courthouses, town halls, and government offices unless carried by authorized law enforcement personnel.

Airports: Weapons are restricted within airport terminals or other secure areas. However, have it in mind that armed police units can be mounted in areas with higher risks of terrorism, including airports and mass events.

Sports Venues: This is another place will weapons are forbidden and it will be considered an offense if you carry weapons in sports stadiums and arenas during events.

Places of Worship: in places like churches, mosques, synagogues, or temples, no one is allowed to be in possession of guns or other weapons.

Music Concerts and Festivals: It is also considered illegal to carry weapons in these locations.


No, private security is legally permitted to carry guns or be armed in the UK. Have it in mind that laws and restrictions forbid security personnel from carrying weapons since it is contrary to the law. Private securities are however permitted to be in possession of personal protective equipment including flashlights, radios, and GPS trackers.