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Florida paramedics allowed to be armed in 'high-risk incidents' under law

Posted at 8:39 PM, Jun 11, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida paramedics will be allowed to carry guns when responding to shootings, drug raids and other high-risk situations, under a bill signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Gov. DeSantis signed HB 487 into law on Friday along with 37 other bills. The law creates provisions for paramedics to have the same privileges as a law enforcement officer during "high-risk incidents," including, but not limited to, hostage incidents, drug raids, armed suicidal persons, barricaded suspects, high risk felony warrant service, fugitives refusing to surrender, and active shooter incidents.

According to the law, paramedics have no duty to retreat and "are justified in the use of any force which he or she reasonably believes is necessary to defend himself or herself or another from bodily harm."

In order to be eligible to carry, the paramedic must already have a concealed weapons permit, completes firearms safety training and participate in annual firearm training and tactical training.

The law takes effect July 1.

According to CNN , Kansas and Ohio already have emergency responder-firearm laws in place. Similar bills have been proposed in Tennessee, Mississippi and Virginia.

Last month, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill into law that allows armed teachers on Florida campuses.