W.Va. bill could give first responders right to carry guns

The bill would give supervisors the right to allow their staff to carry guns on duty if they’ve completed training

By EMS1 Staff

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A new bill aims to give first responders the right to be armed on duty.

WSAZ reported that HB 2916 would allow supervisors to give first responders permission to carry guns if they have successfully completed training and attend annual qualification classes.

"Definitely the drug epidemic is making it worse," Delegate David Pethtel, who helped introduce the bill, said. "They don't know what type of situation they're going to come under."

Pethtel said first responders came to him about the issue.

"They told me that they have transported people by ambulance before and when they got to the hospital sometimes hospital personnel removed weapons from them," Pethtel said.

Fire Chief Dave Caudill said he fully supports the bill as it helps keep first responders safe.

"On more than one occasion, I've had a knife pulled on me inside a house with basically nowhere to escape to," Chief Caudill said. "It's a very dangerous world out there and you really never know what you're going to get into. It's not for everybody to do, but the ones who have the ability and have the training. It would be a way to protect our people and also to protect the public."

The bill passed unanimously in the House and now faces the Senate.

Recommended for you

Join the discussion

Copyright © 2023 EMS1. All rights reserved.