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, they go. The ambulance crew doesn’t get to pick when and where they’ll go. They just do it.
However, rules tend to require them to be disarmed while doing it.
The thinking has always been, they’re there to save lives, not take them. The problem with that is that the other 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.
To be fair, 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 simply 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 and 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 in order 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 simply wish it had been a broader application and allowed everyone in that profession to carry as they feel the need, not someone else.
Then again, if I had my way, everyone who wanted to carry anytime and anyplace would be free to do so.
The law allows trained medics to carry a gun to active shooter situations, hostage incidents, narcotics raids, hazardous surveillance, sniper incidents, armed suicidal persons, high risk felony warrants and barricaded subjects and well as other high-risk operations, CBS Local reported.
Medics responding to routine medical emergency calls and traffic stops will not be allowed to carry a gun under the new law, Chris Kammel, the EMS bureau chief of rescue for Martin County Fire Rescue, told the newspaper.
When introducing a similar bill to the state senate in February, Sen. Ed Hooper, a Republican, cited recent tragedies at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a bank in Sebring and a Fort Lauderdale airport where “medics are usually standing right behind the officer that they are assigned to.” “They are there with every drug that can keep you alive if they survive, without having anything to defend themselves,” he said.