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Texas Medical Board considers arming itself

By   /   July 5, 2013  /   No Comments

This isn't what Texas Medical Board investigators are doing, yet.

This isn’t what Texas Medical Board investigators are doing, yet.

By Jon Cassidy | Watchdog.org

HOUSTON – In England, most police still don’t carry guns, even doing dangerous stuff like going on raids unarmed.

Nobody ever confused Texas with England, but we do have this in common: believe it or not, Texas law contemplates unarmed police.

Specifically, the Texas state agency charged with licensing and regulating doctors “may commission investigators as peace officers,” according to state law, but they “may not carry a firearm or exercise the powers of arrest.”

The Texas Medical Board isn’t thrilled with that prohibition, and recently asked Attorney General Greg Abbott whether its investigators might be allowed to carry concealed weapons.

No, there’s no wave of gangster oncologists they’re contending with, but the Drug Enforcement Agency last year warned the medical board that they’d found some handguns and a shotgun behind the counter of a pill mill.

Abbott advised the board that as long as the investigators had a concealed carry license and weren’t commissioned as peace officers, there’s nothing in the law preventing them from carrying a concealed weapon, although he couldn’t predict how the courts would rule on liability if they actually shot somebody.

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Jon Cassidy is the Texas bureau chief for Watchdog.org. He also writes a weekly column on politics for The American Spectator. He was formerly a reporter and editor for The Orange County Register in California and a reporter at The Hill in Washington, D.C. His work has been published by Fox News, Reason, The Federalist, Human Events, and other publications. He is a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow and a graduate of the University of Southern California. He and his wife Michelle live just outside Houston with their two children.

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