Aransas Pass city workers will soon have the ability to carry a concealed weapon while on duty to protect themselves or others from an active shooter.
Stringent requirements are being developed by the city manager and the Aransas Pass Police Department to include oversite, rules and regulations.
Current policy prohibits the carrying or possession by any employee while on city owned property or in a city vehicle. The City Council announced Monday night the policy will be amended to include, “unless the employee is carrying a Concealed Handgun License issued by the State of Texas under Texas Government Code Chapter 411, Subchapter H – License to Carry a Concealed Handgun. An employee requesting to carry or already carrying a firearm in accordance with this policy, may be required to undergo a psychological examination like the type examination taken by law enforcement officers. Until such examination can be administered, the employee may have his/her privilege to carry a firearm under this policy suspended. The expense of this examination shall be placed on the individual employee unless otherwise determined by the City Manager or his/her designee. The ability to carry a firearm while at work under this policy is a privilege not a right afforded to employees. The City Manager or his/her designee may revoke an employee's right to carry under this policy at any time and without cause.”
Chief Eric Blanchard stated, “We hope this policy will go into effect in July or August after we work out the details. Any city employee will have the right to apply for this opportunity. After the employee obtains a license, the employee will pay for a psychological exam, the results will be reviewed and the employee will participate in firearms training at the police department.”
Aransas Pass recently conducted active shooter training for city employees at City Hall, Code Enforcement, Civic Center and Public Works.
While the training was being conducted, police noticed there were significant areas of concern regarding no place to flee should a shooter engage. City employees could be trapped inside allowing mass casualties to occur.
Blanchard stated, “People need to understand the average response time for police is 5 minutes. That means people have to fend for themselves until police arrive on the scene. It takes 3 minutes for an active shooter to create massive destruction. I believe any good, honest, God bearing, American citizen should be armed.”
Some people argue that a city worker may take another path and suddenly start shooting inappropriately. Blanchard stated, “Any person can go crazy at any time. If a city worker went crazy and started shooting, I would hope another armed city worker standing nearby would subdue that threat.”