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There has been a growing number of incidents where first responders – firefighters and paramedics – have been shot at when arriving on the scene of a fire or accident. Some Texas legislators have introduced bills to allow them to carry a firearm on the job for self-defense.

There are at least three proposals before Texas state lawmakers that would make it so first responders – firefighters and paramedics – could carry firearms on the job.

A public hearing on House Bill 56 was held at the State Capitol on Tuesday.

HB 56, like the others, would allow properly-licensed first responders to carry a handgun while doing their duties. Currently, state law does not address this issue and it is instead a decision that is made at the local level.

Medstar Mobile Healthcare, the ambulance service for 15 North Texas cities, has a policy that prohibits its employees from carrying handguns on the job.

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