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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 Houston-based reporter for Watchdog.org. He worked for six years as a reporter and editor for The Orange County Register after beginning his career at The Hill, broken up by a few years in South America working as a translator and English teacher. His work has been published by the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, City Journal, The American Spectator, Reason, The Federalist, Human Events, the Dallas Morning News, the San Antonio Express-News, and other publications. He was awarded the 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship. He is best known for his work in bringing to light a far-reaching admissions scandal at The University of Texas. You can reach him at [email protected]