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A new bill has been proposed that would allow Texas firefighters and EMT with a permit, to carry guns while on duty. State reps. are fighting to get this passed, however the local officials in McLennan Country are not so pleased.

Waco Fire Chief Bobby Tatum, said he’s adamantly opposed to firefighters caring guns on duty.

“I would be in favor of leaving guns in the hands of police officers,” 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.”

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McLennan County doesn’t have a policy in place, but the Waco Fire Department prohibits firefighters from carrying on duty.

The bill would cover all licensed first responders in the state. According to House Bill 982, the term “Responders” covers any person working in fire protection or emergency medical services. This would include the volunteers in those areas as well.

Rep. John Wray, R-Waxahachie, said he filed the bill after a volunteer firefighter brought the issue to his attention.

Some departments and local governments allow first responders to carry while others do not. The bill would bring uniformity, Wray said.

What do you think? Should licensed responders be allowed to carry on duty? I say heck yes! Why shouldn’t they be able to protect themselves and others around them, if need to be? Just because they are wearing a first responder uniform does not make them any less of a target!

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