Written by: Greg Ellifritz
A reader recently wrote in to ask me a question about what happens to a person who is carrying a firearm when that person needs medical assistance.
“After one is involved in an auto collision (when not severely injured, but needs to be medically evaluated), what is the best practice regarding the security of your firearm when you face being loaded onto an ambulance and going to the emergency room for evaluation? “
It’s a good question and something that many of my readers may not have considered.
Every jurisdiction likely handles this problem differently, but we have a protocol where I work (in Ohio) to handle this very issue.
Our squads all carry lockable hard sided pistol cases. If a patient is carrying a gun, a police officer is called to the scene. The cop clears the gun and locks it in the case. If the patient is conscious, they can give us the name of a trusted friend or family member and we will deliver the box to them. If the patient is unconscious, we take the gun and hold it at the police station for safekeeping. The patient or his designee can pick up the gun anytime.
If for some reason the police are unavailable or not called, the gun goes in the same box and is delivered to the police/security staff at the hospital where the patient is being treated. There is a sign off sheet for chain of custody documentation and the hospital security staff will give your gun back to you when you leave the hospital.
It hasn’t been an issue around here.
If you have similar concerns, the best thing you can do is to go to your local firehouse and ask one of the medics what their protocol is. I would hazard a guess that most places have a similar policy.
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