Gainesville State Representative Drew Springer, who represents counties in our eastern viewing area, said he isn't backing down on wanting to eliminate gun-free zones, which would include hospitals.
This proposal failed to pass the last legislative session.
Eric Finley, UMC Communications Director, said "In the U.S. there's a shooting in a hospital about once a month if not twice a month." We want to do as much as we can legally to protect our folks, both our patients and our employees. Right now, the law says no guns in this building."
Springer wants to change that.
"From a second amendment stand, I filed one that said we need to eliminate all all gun-free zones and that would include hospitals," he said.
Springer explained his main reasoning.
"The bad guys with bad intentions never follow the signs," he said. When they see a sign that says gun-free zone they never pay attention to it. The only people who pay attention to those are the law abiding citizens."
This is not exactly a black and white issue here," Finley said. There are both sides to it."
Finley said it's a complicated subject.
"Guns in the hospital may not be the best idea," he said. You do have a lot of vulnerable patients here that wouldn't be able to defend themselves against others, but at the same time the signs in front of the door those aren't necessarily stopping anyone from bringing a gun in here."
Finley said UMC has an advantage because it not only uses LPD to secure the facility.
"Texas Tech Police who are armed are also in and out of this building, and they can be here in moments," he said.
Springer also sponsored legislation for those hospitals that don't have security. He said especially in the rural part of his district. It would allow CHL holders to carry.
He said he spoke to hospital employees in his district who told them at times they feel unsafe. He said they should have the ability to protect themselves.
"Nurses that were telling me that they are working the night shift and some of my counties are right off the interstate, and people are coming in and searching for drugs and trying to rob them," he said.
Springer said the reason his bill to abolish gun-free zones didn't get a lot of traction, is the passing of open and campus carry.
"I was happy just like campus carry to say that there are spots I think you should only be able to carry concealed, and hospitals is absolutely one of those. I think it should be a concealed carry only," Springer said.