MCLENNAN COUNTY, TEXAS — Texas firefighters and EMTs may soon be permitted to carry firearms while on duty.
State legislators recently introduced a bill that would allow firefighters and EMTs to carry guns while responding to calls, reported the WacoTrib.com.
However, some responders are opposed to the legislation.
“I would be in favor of leaving guns in the hands of police officers,” Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum said. “We have a specific mission to save lives and property, and I think carrying a firearm would cross the line in that regard.”
The Waco Fire Department currently prohibits personnel from carrying firearms, but the bill would require local jurisdictions to allow it.
Some responders were in favor of the bill, particularly for volunteer departments who may arrive at a scene before police.
“Being licensed to carry while on a call or doing a fire department function is no different than having the need to carry while you’re a private citizen at home,” Jimmy Rogers, a volunteer firefighter, said. “Those unfortunate situations can arise at any time, even on fire calls. Even during a fire call, there’s sometimes a heightened threat there.”