We see armed people working around us on a daily basis. Some of these private professionals are highly visible such as guards for banks and armored car services and some are less obvious to the eye such as private investigators or detectives. In almost all states there are requirements for them to have licenses and in most states they must have insurance or bonds that function as insurance. But there is tremendous variation in the requirements and in the definitions and terminology of the various roles.
There are states which require insurance if and only if the person involved is armed. For example, in California both private guards and private investigators only are required to have insurance ($500,000 for each of bodily injury and property damage) if they carry firearms. Or, in North Carolina, private guards and patrol personnel are required to carry insurance whether armed or not but private investigators or courier’s are only required to be insured if they carry firearms. In New York State security people only need licenses and insurance if they do such tasks over 50% of the time if unarmed but any amount of time if armed.
This means that we already have mandatory gun insurance in some situations in this country, with none of the problems projected by those who think it is not possible. It also shows that the need for insurance protection is closely associated with carrying weapons and is not just part of the role of guard or investigator.
Private guards and investigators are thoroughly screened perhaps more carefully than holders of non professional weapons permits. The application for North Carolina requires a fingerprint card, directly submitted questionnaires from 3 character references, clearances from local police at previous addresses and an Equifax credit report among many other requirements. Similar requirements are made by most states. A security professional can lose their license or job because of incidents of irresponsibility as well as for crimes and has a great incentive to handle firearms with due care.
The need for insurance to protect the public both by compensating those hurt and by encouraging safe practices is likely to be greater for persons carrying weapons for personal reasons than for professionals. They come into a wider variety of situations and they are not working under supervision in defined roles as are the professional armed persons. A business even without the backup of insurance is likely to be able to pay if they cause intentional or negligent harm, while many individuals lack sufficient personal resources to be financially responsible.
All of these factors show that legislators should adopt laws requiring weapon permit holders to have the same level of insurance that is required of the armed professions.