Citing the reliance companies have placed in private security officers since 9-11, Rep. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) has introduced a bill (H.R. 5893) that would require employers to obtain a federal criminal records check on all contract and proprietary security guards.
Under the bill, it would be illegal to hire a guard who had been previously convicted of any one of a number of offenses under state or federal law. These offenses include illegally carrying, possessing, or using a firearm or other dangerous weapon. Other disqualifying offenses are buying or receiving stolen property, unlawful entry, aiding an escape from prison, illegal drug possession, and theft. Recklessly endangering another person, making a threat of terror, or committing any crime of assault or battery would also bar an individual from becoming a security officer.
Under the bill, employers are protected from liability if they act in good faith in interpreting and using the criminal background information. Also, the provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act do not apply to these background checks.
H.R. 5893 has no cosponsors and has been referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee.