Texas Bill Would Let Firefighters, EMTs Carry Guns On Duty

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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Paramedics would be able to pack more than just medical supplies if one state lawmaker gets his way. State Representative John Wray of Waxahachie has introduced a bill that would let all first responders in Texas carry guns.

The Republican lawmaker says policies vary from department-to-department when it comes proper procedure to ensure that crime, fire or crash scenes are secure. He says it’s also impossible to predict what could happen at any given time.

A firefighter pulls a hose at the scene of a fire. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A firefighter pulls a hose at the scene of a fire. (credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

“In the less urban areas… you increase the likelihood that the first responders on the scene will be non-peace officers — such as fire and EMS.”

Wray said he certainly isn’t trying to increase the duties of first responders, but is focusing on their safety. “Firefighters and EMS do not need to perform a peace officer role, but they certainty have the right to protect themselves,” he said.

According to Wray, first responders currently run the risk of being delayed because they have to remove the firearm, that they’re versed at using, and store it in their vehicle. “Folks who have a license to carry are knowledgeable about the weapon that they’re carrying and keeping it secure.”

In House Bill 982 the term first responder refers to anyone working in fire protection or emergency medical services — including volunteers.

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