Texas Senate endorses letting first responders carry guns

AFD firefighters participate in annual stair climb to honor 9/11 victims (KXAN Photo / Justin Hobby)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate has endorsed allowing paramedics and other first-responders, including volunteer firefighters, to carry concealed handguns in restricted areas.

The bill by Sen. Don Huffines of Dallas met little resistance in the Republican-controlled Senate on Tuesday. A similar measure is pending in the House.

Huffines says first-responders sometimes arrive on crime scenes even before police do and could be in danger if the situation is not yet contained. He says paramedics, firefighters and others should be allowed to protect themselves if necessary.

The bill requires the eligible first-responders to get the usual concealed handgun license, plus an extra 20 hours of training. They would be allowed to carry in restricted areas only while on duty.

Training would include tactical response shooting and how to seek cover.

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