Policy Prohibiting Concealed Carry of Guns by EMS Professionals

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Hard to believe it has been almost two years since I last wrote about concealed carry for EMS. But it has.

Scott Kier, Sean Eddy, and Chris Montera rekindle the conversation in Episode 14 of the EMS in the New Decade podcast.

Two years ago I was skeptical about EMS and concealed carry and I remain skeptical.

The Delusion of Policies that Prohibit Concealed Carry.

I have a general disdain for policies that are a) difficult to enforce and b) if the policy is violated the likelihood of actual consequence is low. If an ambulance service has a policy, “Paramedics are prohibited from carrying a weapon while on duty,” how do you enforce that policy? Would many organizations search paramedics and their belongings at the start of each shift?

If a gun is discovered the simple and the quick reply is, “Whoops I forgot. You know I carry this thing everywhere. I just forgot about it.” Airline personnel and frequent travelers turn over guns to TSA agents with a fairly regular frequency.

Chris, would you fire a good paramedic from your department for a “Whoops, I forgot.” Not likely.

What if the employee that “forgot” has an opportunity to use their weapon to save their partner in a life and death situation. Pretty tough to send a hero to unemployment land.

I am confident that many concealed carry permit holders carry in many prohibited spaces as long as the risk of getting caught is low and the consequences of getting caught are just as low.

Just Let Them Carry.

Not so fast.

No policy is not the only alternative to a bad policy. Perhaps a better alternative is additional training and operational changes. My sense listening to Sean, arguing the con position, was the only thing between him and most unexpected situations is a gun. Have gun. Will solve problems. Sean’s employer needs to provide him more options than carry a gun. Use in case of emergency.

We have Rights to do Stuff. Often Trumped by Responsibilities. 

Sometimes we need to choose between rights we have and responsibilities we have. Of age paramedics can consume alcohol. That is a right. They need to come to work sober and fit for duty. That is a responsibility.

Paramedics with CCP have a right to carry a weapon when and where they please, unless it is prohibited. Following an employer’s policies is a responsibility. Disregarding your responsibilities puts your rights at risk.

Let the Storm Rage On.

Two years later I am surprised this discussion is still going on with as much vigor expressed by Sean and Chris.

On a haphazard basis I continue to keep an eye out for news accounts of crimes in progress (not home invasions) that were stopped by citizens with a concealed carry permit. And for paramedics that draw on a patient, bystander, or partner to resolve a violent confrontation. If you see those news accounts send them my way.