Holstering In Hospitals - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Holstering In Hospitals

A Texoma area State lawmaker is leading a House Bill that would allow staff and visitors to carry guns inside hospitals. Representative Drew Springer is pushing the legislation that would allow CHL holders more protection for self-defense.

However, United Regional Hospital officials said this would be a bad move.

“We would have multiple people inside our hospital with weapons and unpredictable situations happen inside our hospital,” said Steve Beggs, Security Manager at United Regional Hospital. “We know how to handle those situations, maybe they wouldn't.”

Guns are not currently allowed inside the building, and those restrictions are posted at every entrance. However, the hospital does have trained, armed security personnel.

Other security features are used on a daily basis at United Regional. Things like emergency call boxes in parking lots and security cameras are a few of those.

Beggs said that’s why patrons should not be concerned about their safety.

“We actually hold, what we call, code silver drills, which are active shooter drills here on our campus,” said Beggs. “Like I said, our number one job is safety and security.”

Other Texoma residents agree with Beggs. They said a hospital setting is not the place for firearms.

 “I have a cousin that works at the hospital and you just never know what the environment is going to be,” said Caren Presley, a Wichita Falls resident. “So to put a gun in the mix of someone's hands that you know might not have the proper training…that could be kind of a scary situation.”

But other residents say it’s their Second Amendment rights to protect themselves.

 “I’ve worked in a hospital before where a shootout actually happened,” said Amaris Wise, a Wichita Falls resident. “It probably would have not happened if someone else was carrying.”

 “I think that we've had plenty of incidents happen to show that we should be allowed to arm our citizens,” said Savannah Mcallister.

The legislation is still in the works. But the news comes on the heel of new State gun laws. The details will still be negotiated. The new Texas open carry law goes into effect January 1, 2016. Campus Carry will go into effect August 2016.

Brittany Costello, Newschannel 6

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