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When people need an ambulance, they need an ambulance. It doesn’t matter what part of town it is or what else may be going on. If someone calls, first responders go. The ambulance crew doesn’t get to pick when and where they’ll go. They do it.
However, rules tend to require them to be disarmed while racing to save lives.
The thinking has always been, they’re there to save lives, not take them. The problem with that is that the bad guys don’t necessarily get the same memo, thus putting the ambulance crews’ lives at risk.
Now, a new Florida law seeks to change that.
A new law allowing medics to carry a gun when responding to high-risk situations such as active gunman incidents and drug raids went into effect Monday.
Florida House Bill 487, which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on June 7, states that while accompanying either a police SWAT or special-response unit, tactical medical professionals may carry firearms in the same manner as a law-enforcement officer.
The new law requires the paramedics to have concealed-weapons licenses and for law enforcement agencies to establish training and deployment policies.
It’s not ideal in my eyes, but it’s a damn sight better than it was.
Most EMS crews aren’t going to worry too much about it. They’re going to focus on saving lives and not worry about the risks associated with it. It’s what they do, and they deserve a great deal of respect for their willingness to do it, especially doing so unarmed.
They shouldn’t have to risk their lives to that degree. Not if it can be helped. Allowing them to carry will help them mitigate the risk. It won’t eliminate it, of course. If it did, we’d never read of an officer killed in the line of duty. However, we’re also far less likely to read about that because police officers have weapons to defend themselves with.
These EMTs will now have the same thing.
Where I have a problem with it, however, is that it’s limiting. It only allows medics to carry in very specific circumstances and ignores the thousands of other times their lives may be in some degree of danger. In those circumstances, ambulance crews forego their Second Amendment rights in the course of their jobs because someone doesn’t think they should be carrying a gun.
Again, they’re supposed to save lives, not take them.
However, as previously noted, not everyone gets the memo. While we don’t have a rash of emergency medical personnel being murdered, so what? They’re free men and women living in the United States. They shouldn’t have to be getting murdered for us to recognize they have a right to keep and bear arms, even while at work.
This law is a good law, and I’m glad it passed. Don’t get me wrong; I wish it had been a broader application and allowed everyone in that profession to carry as they feel the need.
Then again, if I had my way, everyone who wanted to carry anytime and anyplace would be free to do so.