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Holy Handguns: Arkansas Allows Concealed Carry in Church

by James Tarr   |  February 19th, 2013 18
Church-service

(Photo by David Ball)

The Arkansas House of Representatives just passed a bill which would allow CCW holders to take their weapons into churches, providing the church allows it. The bill previously passed the Arkansas Senate and was signed into law by Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe.

The Church Protection Act, as it is called, allows churches to make their own decisions as to whether or not to permit its members to be armed. Arkansas isn’t the first such state to have such a law; similar laws exist in South Carolina, Wyoming and Louisiana.

Pro-concealed carry groups have been very happy with the bill’s success, but there have been some church officials which have expressed concern. Robert Klein, a minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, said, “I speak only for myself, but I am opposed to anyone other than trained law enforcement professionals carrying guns into a church—and with them only when they are required to carry their weapons by their agency or are requested to do so by the congregation,” he said. “I want to offer those who come into congregations the safety and sanctuary that has traditionally served as a hallmark of congregations. To add the uncertainty about who might be carrying a weapon into the mix is an unnecessary and inappropriate result of this legislation.”

Klein’s concern for his congregation is all well and good, but he shows a complete lack of understanding about the nature of legal concealed carry—and who does it—the mentality of criminals and how best to protect his church.

Citizens with CCWs have already met certain state requirements, which usually require training. They are also by definition law-abiding citizens; otherwise they would not be able to get CCWs.

One well-known church shooting occurred in Aurora, Colo., this past April, when a man crashed his car outside a church and shot the pastor’s wife. An off-duty deputy, who was a member of the congregation, shot and killed the man. That wasn’t the first time there has been a shooting in a church, and it won’t be the last.

Psychos and sociopaths wishing to do the most amount of harm to the largest number of people head to where people congregate in large groups, such as churches, malls and movie theaters. Making those areas “gun free zones” will only result in the bad guys getting a higher body count.

What are your thoughts? Should firearms be carried in church?

  • Scott

    "Klein’s concern for his congregation is all well and good, but he shows a complete lack of understanding about the nature of legal concealed carry—and who does it—the mentality of criminals and how best to protect his church."

    Or the writer shows a complete lack of understanding of the role of the church, the bible, and the teachings of Jesus.

    You stopped just short of calling minister Klein a moron (actually you didn't).

    If the church allows guns then fine. If not, that's their prerogative. How James Tarr feels about a church's right to prohibit guns isn't really worthy of publication. You should keep your writing staff focused on guns and the gun industry.

    Writing negatively about christians committed to peace in all its forms has little to do with guns or ammo and actually helps paint all gun enthusiasts into the same "Shall not infringe", backwater, no room for common sense corner.

    • Karl

      Actually, "the uncertainty about who migjt be carryng a weapon into the mix" already exists.

      • BillinDetroit

        All that adding CCL holders to ‘the mix’ does is improve the chance that a BG with a gun won’t get a chance to fire all of his ammunition into a defenseless crowd.

    • Fred

      "Or the writer shows a complete lack of understanding of the role of the church, the bible, and the teachings of Jesus. "

      ….none of which has anything to do with the point of the article, or completely misses the point. You want to provide a safe haven for parishoners, fine…..so does that mean that in addition to prohibiting members of the flock from bringing in legal guns, Mr. Klein also has metal detectors at the door and armed guards to keep the bad guys with guns out? I sincerely doubt it. So he is being disingenous, or just straight out ignorant.

    • Fred

      "Writing negatively about christians committed to peace in all its forms has little to do with guns or ammo and actually helps paint all gun enthusiasts into the same "Shall not infringe", backwater, no room for common sense corner."

      What the heck does this have to do with christians commited to peace in all its forms? Sounds to me you're advocating a non-violent response to active shooters. Let me know how that works out for you.

      Actually, the "shall not infringe backwater/no room for common sense" comment tells me that you believe that some forms of gun control are good. Which means I'm probably wasting my time, as you obviously aren't rational. Gun control has never reduced crime anywhere, EVER, and is the tool of tyrants. Read some history.

    • Alan Zen

      You mean the teaching of Jesus that "whoever does not have a sword, let him sell his coat and buy one." Is this the teaching you are refering to? Is this the Jesus you are refering to?

      • BillinDetroit

        Or the Jesus who armed himself with a whip and tore through the temple at Jerusalem like a man on fire?

        And then, at Gethsemane, made certain his followers were still carrying?

        Or, at Mt. 28:19,20 told the apostles present to make other disciples — teaching them what they had been taught (including the carrying of sidearms)?

        Or are we talking about a different Jesus?

    • John Cipolletti

      I and my dad was at church. After the service, we were walking out to greet the priest. My dad remembered in a minute that he had left his expensive cap in a pew. After only a couple of minutes, someone had stolen it. Later, the priest said to me, churches are for sinners not saints. Maybe we need to protect ourselves from these sinners…ha…ha.

  • Karl

    Good. Why not?

  • Clickaholic

    Psychos and sociopaths wishing to do the most amount of harm to the largest number of people head to where people congregate in large groups, such as churches, malls and movie theaters. Making those areas “gun free zones” will only result in the bad guys getting a higher body count.

    All proven true. This is a good idea to some extent. I just hope the actions of a CCW member acting are sure of what they're doing if confronted with a situation as such. Training and presence of mind so as not to shoot innocents. No clean shot, do not shoot.

  • David

    Speaking as both a Christian and someone who has served in the ministry, I fully support the right of people who have legally obtained a concealed and carry license to carry those weapons in the church. The type of person that would willingly submit themselves to such a legal process are not the ones that people need to worry about.

  • a different Scott

    As Clickaholic stated, churches are typically gun-free zones, aka "target-rich environments". I am an elder in my church in the Northwest, and I as well as 3 other elders conceal-carry. We actually just started doing this since Sandy Hook, since it seems that society is becoming more un-hinged at a more rapid pace.

    Fear not, we all have CCW licenses, and our pastor fully supports this idea. As elders, we are the sheep dogs, there to protect the flock!

  • Eric Thompson

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
    fear no evil, for my Glock & Sig are with me; my hollow points ammo, they comfort
    me. LOL

  • Guest

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
    fear no evil, for my Glock & Sig are with me; my hollow points ammo, they comfort
    me.

  • Eric Thompson

    Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
    fear no evil, for my glock and sig are with me; my hollow point ammo, they comfort
    me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/allan.recticuli.9 Allan Recticuli

    One of my first questions is: Is this establishemen a ‘GUN FREE ZONE”? If they claim it is I un around and leave. I will not take any family member into a zone that protection is not allowed: If those [people want to put their lives in jeopardy that is their perrogative. There are fools born every second in this world that believe their laws will protect them. If
    they wind up dead, it does not make any difference. They are no longer of this world.
    ” STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES ” Because of their IGNORANCE they rushed to their own GRAVES.

    • http://www.facebook.com/allan.recticuli.9 Allan Recticuli

      After reading even more of the posts about metals detectors within the halls of it’s corridors is enough to warrant complete avoidance of that establishment.

  • BillinDetroit

    NC law is basically silent on this subject except if a building is posted against weapons.

    I care enough about those I worship with to carry, although I am quite likely the only one who does.

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