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Poll Call: Should paramedics be allowed to carry guns on duty?

A comparison in polls shows a dramatic shift in how EMS providers perceive the need to arm paramedics


Green, Ohio, tactical paramedics are now permitted to carry handguns when called out to assist the sheriff’s SWAT following a change in state law and the urging of Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry.

“The tactical paramedics’ role will not change; it is an extra layer of safety security for them and for patients they are taking care of,” Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry commented.

We asked EMS1 readers in a poll, “Should paramedics be allowed to carry guns on duty?” Here is a breakdown of the results.


These results show a shift in EMS perception of the need to carry weapons on duty. In a 2017 poll, just 9% of respondents said EMS providers should be allowed to carry a concealed handgun while on duty in any circumstance, while 22% said EMS providers shout not be allowed to carry a concealed handgun while on duty.

In the February 2020 poll, only 9% of respondents say paramedics should not be allowed to carry guns on duty.


Do you think EMTs or paramedics working in concert with law enforcement in a tactical capacity should carry handguns? What about in other situations? Weigh in by commenting below or emailing us at

Additional resources on arming EMS providers

Learn more about allowing EMTs or paramedics to carry guns on duty with these resources from EMS1:

Kerri Hatt is editor-in-chief, EMS1, responsible for defining original editorial content, tracking industry trends, managing expert contributors and leading execution of special coverage efforts. Prior to joining Lexipol, she served as an editor for medical allied health B2B publications and communities.

Kerri has a bachelor’s degree in English from Saint Joseph’s University, in Philadelphia. She is based out of Charleston, SC. Share your personal and agency successes, strategies and stories with Kerri at