Armed vs. Unarmed Security Guards: Which Is Right For You?

Security guards are essential for many businesses because they are an added deterrent to perpetrators, preventing a variety of potential threats that can occur in the area. And the types of security guards you’ll be getting have a huge role to play if you’re thinking about increasing the safety and security of your workplace.

In this article, we’ll get to know more about the differences between armed and unarmed security guards, as well as how you’ll be able to know which is a better option for you.

What is an Armed Security Guard?

Armed security guards are those that have undergone specialized training for professionally handling and carrying firearms. Banks, construction sites, and retail establishments typically hire this type of specialized security as these particular businesses require tighter security because of its nature.

What is an Unarmed Security Guard?

Unarmed security guards are the ones that you often see in many gated communities, business institutions, and establishments who ensure the overall safety and security of the place. They, of course, don’t carry firearms, unlike armed security guards. They do, however, carry out the safety of the whole place by monitoring using CCTV cameras and scheduled patrols throughout the premises. 

Pros and Cons of Armed and Unarmed Security Guards

Armed Security Guard


  • Armed security guards provide an extra level of protection since they carry firearms that often deter criminals from pushing through with the crime. 
  • Can reduce thefts and robbery
  • Can be very helpful for high-profile people who are faced with life-threatening situations.
  • Can make feel people safe


  • Can be more expensive compared to unarmed security guards
  • Along with the added protection also comes risks such as accidental discharge or mishandling of weapons, raising the gravity of the situation. 
  • As much as some people feel safer with armed guards, there are also those who feel uncomfortable seeing guards carrying guns, hence why they may not feel safe. 

Unarmed Security Guard


  • Opting for unarmed security guards can be less expensive than hiring armed guards.
  • Unarmed security guards are able to blend with the environment seamlessly. 


  • Unarmed security guards can add protection to the place, but they are less likely to intimidate or deter some criminals, especially armed ones, in case of a threat.
  • Since they are unarmed, they won’t have anything to protect themselves with in case a perpetrator comes in carrying a weapon. 

Choosing Between Armed and Unarmed Security Guards…

Here are some of the factors you have to consider to know which will be a better option for you:

  • Type of Business

The type of business you have and the products you sell should be part of the decision-making process as this says something about the kind of security you will need. For example, you sell expensive and extra valuable items such as jewelry — this will require heightened security such as armed security guards to keep thieves away. You also need to take into account if your business is located on private property since some businesses, on the other hand, especially those that are located in commercial places such as malls, don’t allow armed security guards and prefer unarmed security instead. 

  • Your Security Needs and Requirements

To determine your security needs, you have to consider the area where your business is located because the risk level has a part to play in that. Is your business located in a low or high-risk area? If it’s in a safer environment, then you can opt for unarmed security guards. But if you’re located in a high-risk area, it’s best to go for armed security because it will help reduce the possibility of thefts and robberies. Security guards who carry firearms or weapons can often be intimidating for criminals, causing them to not push through with their crimes. 

  • Cost or Budget

Since the cost varies depending on the security agency of your choice, you have to consider the budget you have. Some security agencies price both armed and unarmed security at the same rate, while others give different prices for each of the security services — with armed security being more expensive compared to unarmed security. Hence why you have to consider the security service you need along with your budget. 

Either way, both armed and unarmed security guards serve a particular purpose that will benefit your business’s safety. It’s up to you to decide which of these security services are able to fit the security needs of your business. 

If you need specialized security services for your business, contact us today and we will be glad to help solve any issues.

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Posted on: July 15th, 2022 by Wazile