- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A bill allowing volunteer firefighters and first responders to bring their guns into restricted areas has cleared the state Legislature.

It pertains to volunteer emergency personnel who have concealed carry licenses, and passed the House on a final, 136-9 vote Friday.

The proposal now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott. He’s expected to sign it, though it will become law automatically without his approval, unless he vetoes it.

Proponents say the legislation protects first responders arriving to potentially dangerous scenes, and lets them get there faster since they won’t have to worry about stashing their guns beforehand.

But opponents noted that first responders don’t receive extra training to carry their guns and worried about unintended consequences.

The bill is one of several loosening firearms restrictions this legislative session in Texas.

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