RICHMOND – A bill allowing firefighters, EMTs, and paramedics to carry a concealed firearm narrowly passed in the Virginia Senate on Tuesday, according to the Washington Post.
The bill, S.B. 101, was sponsored by Senator Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) who is the mother of an EMT.
Chase, known for being armed on the Senate floor, said that firefighters and EMS personnel may have the need to defend themselves, especially at the scene of a violent incident, and in Virginia’s rural areas where law enforcement is spread thin and may be slow to arrive at the scene.
The bill is opposed by Democrats led by Senator Jeremy Pike (D-Prince William) who is a volunteer firefighter in Dale City. Pike warns that arming firefighters and EMTs without training could pose a danger and create a legal liability.
The bill now goes to the House. A similar bill was defeated last year.