COLUMBUS—State Representatives Wes Retherford (R-Hamilton) and Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) today applauded the House passage of House Bill 79, legislation they jointly sponsored that allows tactical medical professionals, such as nurses and paramedics on regional SWAT teams, to carry firearms while on duty.
In the event of a life-threatening situation, House Bill 79 allows these public servants to carry firearms in order to protect themselves and others in immediate need or danger. The bill specifies that these first responders must have already received firearms training and are authorized to carry a firearm by the law enforcement agency they are associated with.
“Republicans and democrats agree, with full committee support and overwhelming support on the floor, 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.”
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, such as SWAT. Through this legislation, these medical professionals would join law enforcement officers who are approved to carry firearms under current law and would help to clarify the statute for local departments.
“Our nation’s first responders are a very special breed of individuals,” Rep. Retherford said. “We need to ensure that we give them the tools necessary to serve, protect and defend our communities. For EMTs, paramedics and other medical specialists who volunteer to provide their medical knowledge to local police departments Tactical Units or SWAT teams, they need to make sure they have those tools as well. House Bill 79 will ensure them another tool to make sure that when they go into these highly dangerous situations, they can not only defend themselves, but their patients as well.”
House Bill 79 will now go to the Senate for further consideration.