COLUMBUS—State Representatives Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) and Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) announced that House Bill 79, legislation that would allow tactical medical professionals to carry firearms while on duty, received a vote of 12-0 out of the House Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee.

The legislation would allow tactical medical professionals to carry firearms in order to protect themselves or others in immediate need. The bill specifies that these individuals must have already received firearms training and are authorized to carry a firearm by the law enforcement agency they are associated with.

“I’m very pleased with the unanimous vote on House Bill 79 in committee. House Bill 79 will rectify the problem that medical professionals have when involved as an active member of an area SWAT team,” said Retherford. “The proper level of training and the ability to carry on scene will ensure both their safety and the safety of any victims they are treating. I look forward to a full House vote. I also appreciate the work of OPOTA, the Attorney General’s office, my joint sponsor Rep. Hagan, and the various organizations that worked together to form this bill.”

Tactical medical professionals are defined as emergency medical technicians, paramedics, nurses, and doctors who are trained and certified in a nationally recognized tactical medical training program. Through this legislation, these medical professionals would join law enforcement officers who are approved to carry firearms in current law and would help to clarify the statute for local departments.

“I am grateful that Republicans and Democrats agree with full committee support that House Bill 79 helps in the advancement of extending 2nd amendment rights to tactical medical professionals, TEMS, while on duty in dangerous situations,” Rep. Hagan said. “I am thankful for our first responders and all that they sacrifice for our safety. These men and women are heroes amongst us.” 

House Bill 79 now awaits consideration for a vote on the House floor.

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