Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

April 28, 2013

Hospital district discusses gun-carry policy

By CHRISTIN COYNE

The Parker County Hospital District Board of Directors discussed the possibility Thursday of creating a policy regarding carrying a firearm on district property.

The district’s attorney Brian Jackson told directors that he has been approached by many hospitals about the issue and advised the district to create a policy allowing the district’s CEO to give written permission to individuals who are licensed to carry a firearm and meet certain guidelines.

The policy would not cover the hospital because it is not operated by the district, according to Jackson.

“To give you a little background with regards to the current enviroment that we see everywhere today with what’s just happened in Boston, the things that have happened in Colorado and various places, a lot of clients that I represent have come to me and said we don’t want our people and our entity to basically be defenseless if someone were to come try one of these things at our facilities,” Jackson said. “There are specific laws that regulate who can be armed on the premises of a facility like this one.”

He recommended that the district adopt some policies that other area hospitals have regarding firearms.

“It’s kind of a sad state of affairs that we have to talk about such things,” Jackson said.

Though the office may be sparsely populated at times, the facility could be targeted because of the outreach services they provide, Jackson said.

The clinic currently has a posted sign regarding firearms on the premises but the district has no policy, board members were told.

The district would periodically check to make sure those carrying had licenses, similar to checking the driving records of those driving for the district, Young said.

Board members, except for Jamie Bodiford-Brinkley, who was absent Thursday, agreed to have Jackson create a draft policy for their consideration.

“I will agree it’s a sad state of affairs this has to be a consideration,” board director Mike Carter said.

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