ARANSAS PASS, Texas — City employees in Aransas Pass will soon be allowed to be armed with guns while at work.
The City Council there voted to approve the new policy on Tuesday, so long as the people carrying guns are qualified to do so.
Aransas Pass Police Chief Eric Blanchard said the new policy will give employees a better chance at stopping a mass shooting before police are able to arrive on scene.
"Some of the concerns that have been expressed since this has, you know, hit the public light, is that, well, I'm a little fearful that the employee shouldn't be carrying a gun. What if they decide and go nuts?" Blanchard said. "Well, what I would say to that is, if this employee decides to go crazy and pull their gun for mal intent, I hope that the employee standing next to them is able to subdue that threat before there's mass casualty."
The chief got the idea for the new policy after performing some recent active-shooter drills in city buildings, like at City Hall and at the Code Enforcement building. The police said they found that employees simply would not be safe in an active shooter situation.
What's more, local relatives seem to support the new policy as well.
"At first I thought, maybe I thought it was a bad idea, but now that I come to think about it, maybe it's a good idea," said Quincy Cooper. "In case of anything else occurs, or something happens, a City employee will be qualified and to discharge or protect other people by having a weapon on them."
"As long as they're being responsible about it, I don't really see a problem with it," said Nicole, a supporter of the new policy. "It's better to be protected than not have protection at all."
The chief said the average response time for police is about five minutes, adding that, if they have guns, City employees can protect themselves until police show up.
Blanchard also said that, if you meet the state requirements and the requirements that are established by the City Manager and police department, why not give people the same rights they would have outside of work.
Reprinted with permission from Kiii TV