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?