Senator Huffines Files Bill To Keep First Responders Safe
Senate Bill 1408 will honor first responders' 2nd Amendment liberty by allowing them to carry on duty
AUSTIN – Today in Austin, Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) filed legislation to allow first responders to protect themselves by carrying a handgun while on duty. In order to carry a handgun on duty, a first responder will be required to have a License to Carry (LTC) and must complete a special on-duty first responder training course that will be approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Senator Huffines stated, "As first responders answer our cries for help, we cannot leave them exposed to attack. First responders do dangerous work, and sometimes come under fire. In a time in which our police are targeted just because of their uniform and badge, we must not leave first responders disarmed and exposed to danger, either."
The 20-hour "on-duty first responder training course" will include training on self-defense; de-escalation techniques; tactical thinking relating to cover for and concealment of the license holder; methods to conceal a handgun and methods to ensure the secure carrying of the concealed handgun; and consequences of improper use of a handgun.
Senator Huffines stated, "A first responder shouldn't have to give up her Second Amendment right to self-protection whenever she puts on her uniform. It's inexcusable that government policies currently leave our first responders exposed to danger without any way to defend themselves."
Senate Bill 1408 provides that "a first responder may discharge a handgun while on duty only in self-defense" and limits the liability of first responders' employers. The bill also provides that "discharge of a handgun by a first responder… is outside the course and scope of the first responder ’s duties."
Senator Huffines concluded, "We trust first responders to save our lives when we are in need. We can also trust them to safely carry a handgun while on-duty so they may defend their own lives if needed. We will all be better served when first responders are given a better chance to return home to their loved ones at the end of their shift."