Author Topic: Texas HB 435, does it apply to me?  (Read 622 times)

mdubtx

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Texas HB 435, does it apply to me?
« on: September 17, 2017, 07:26:10 PM »
Thank you for your time with my questions.

I am a licensed ham operator and member in a local radio club that supports three local EOCs. 

I have also successfully completed an accredited Tactical Combat Casualty Care for All Combatants course, with a NAEMT certificate valid until 2021. [NAEMT’s TCCC course is is accredited by CAPCE and recognized by NREMT.]  I am not a licensed EMS practitioner but wanted to be prepared to offer aid in an emergency.

Do either of the above qualify me as "Volunteer emergency services personnel" in regard to the passage of HB 435 this year?  If so, what does this mean to me as a Texas LTC?

switch

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Re: Texas HB 435, does it apply to me?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 08:45:12 AM »
No, an Emergency Care Provider is defined as a certified EMR, EMT, Paramedic, etc.
I think you also have to be a member of a volunteer fired department AND on duty.
There is a provision, in that law, for uncertified people that are assisting the general public during an emergency, such as all the rescuers that went to help the Hurricane Harvey vicitims.

mdubtx

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Re: Texas HB 435, does it apply to me?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 06:27:07 PM »
Thank you for the response switch.  I believe I may well qualify as any individual who, as a volunteer, provides services for the benefit of the general public during emergency situations.  Figured I would get the opinion of the Texas Law Shield Lawyers since IANAL. 

HB 435
SECTION 4.  Section 46.01, Penal Code, is amended by adding
    Subdivision (18) to read as follows:
                 (18)  "Volunteer emergency services personnel"
    includes a volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical services
    volunteer as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code,
    and any individual who, as a volunteer, provides services for the
    benefit of the general public during emergency situations. The
    term does not include a peace officer or reserve law enforcement
    officer, as those terms are defined by Section 1701.001,
    Occupations Code, who is performing law enforcement duties.

TexasLawShield

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Re: Texas HB 435, does it apply to me?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 04:29:21 PM »
mdubtx,

You may qualify as “volunteer emergency services personnel” even without your certifications.

TPC § 46.01(18) defines volunteer emergency service personnel as “a volunteer firefighter, an emergency medical services volunteer as defined by Section 773.003, Health and Safety Code, and any individual who, as a volunteer, provides services for the benefit of the general public during emergency situations.” This text requires only that you be a volunteer and that you provide services for the benefit of the general public during an emergency situation. Unfortunately, since this is a new law, we have no guidance on how courts will apply this text; however, this definition likely will apply to the service you described.

If it applies to you, this law eliminates criminal responsibility for carrying a handgun most places that weapons are prohibited. It creates a defense to prosecution if—while performing emergency services—you carry beyond a 30.06 or 30.07 sign or into a location listed in TPC § 46.035(b) or (c). The locations listed in § 46.035 include 51% establishments; sporting events; hospitals, places of religious worship, and amusement parks posted with 30.06/30.07; civil commitment facilities; or properly posted government meetings. But, you still may not carry into correctional facilities.

HB 435 also creates TPC § 46.15(a)(10), exempting you from prosecution under §§ 46.02 and 46.03 IF (1) you were carrying a handgun with a valid LTC and (2) you were engaged in providing emergency services. This means you cannot be prosecuted for unlawfully carrying weapons or carrying a handgun in a place weapons are prohibited (e.g., airports, polling places, schools, etc.) resulting from your provision of emergency services.