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Texas CHL Holders and Church Security Teams

By John-Michael Gillaspy |  G2 Security Solutions


At least 4 or more times a month I get a call, email, or text regarding whether a CHL holder can legally provide security as part of a church security team. As both a CHL training school as well as a state licensed security academy, we are uniquely poised to answer this type of question. Before I get into the technical aspect, the answer is a definite NO. A CHL holder may not provide armed security using their CHL for a church security team or any other business/nonprofit.

To start, what would you need to legally provide security services to a church or business? You would generally need:

  • A state license as a security contractor (Texas Occupations Code 1702.102)
  • An individual Security Officer license (Texas Occupations Code 1702.222)
  • Depending on the license you may need a distinct DPS approved security uniform

There are two types of licenses a church could get to legally have security officers providing security services. The first is a license as a guard company. This would allow them to both provide security for themselves as well as contract to other businesses to provide security services. This wouldn’t make much sense for a church. The second, is a private letter of authority (PLOA). This allows the church to create an in house security department with armed security officers. Both licenses have the same general requirements to start. To get licensed as a guard company/PLOA you must have insurance and what is called a Qualified Manager. A Qualified Manager is someone who has at least three years of licensed security experience with two of those years being verifiable experience in a supervisory role. The Qualified Manager candidate then must pass an exam with DPS in Austin. Upon passing, they can be licensed as a Qualified Manager for the guard company/PLOA.

Once the company license is taken into account, you must also consider the personal licenses required to provide security. A security officer has an individual license that is registered under the company license or PLOA. There are three types of security officer licenses in Texas:

  • Level II Non Commissioned Officer: This license requires a 6 hour all classroom based course, and an FBI background check. A Non Commissioned Security Officer is unarmed and must wear a distinctive DPS approved uniform. The main purpose of this type of officer is the phrase most associated with security, Observe and Report. You are generally there to be a good witness.