State House passes bill to let first responders carry guns

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia House of Delegates has unanimously passed legislation allowing properly trained first responders to carry firearms.

The Intelligencer of Wheeling reports House Bill 2916 passed Thursday, and would allow emergency service personnel, firefighters and ambulance drivers to carry firearms when working if they pass a state police academy firearms course and maintain that certification.

The bill, introduced by Del. David Pethtel, D-Wetzel, would also prevent government agencies from being held legally liable for the acts of armed officials or first responders “if the act or omission was done in good faith” while working. The bill also allows government agencies to reimburse participants for the cost of training.

Pethtel says the state Senate, which will next consider the bill, killed similar legislation last year.

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