Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright Was Right Edition


You may remember Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright [above]. The Sheriff hit the headlines back in October after a woman was raped within his jurisdiction. Dan the Man posted on the Sheriff’s assertion that women should carry a concealed firearm (Sheriff Wright: Carry a Concealed Weapon. That’ll Fix It). Turns out Wright was right on principle: an armed citizen is a good thing, not a bad thing. tells the tale: “Jesse Gates had already been to the Southside Freewill Baptist Church in Boiling Springs once Sunday morning, so the pastor’s grandson was keeping his eye on the parking lot when he saw Gates come back, this time taking a shotgun out of his trunk . . .

“They locked the door and they were calling 911 at the time. He didn’t draw his weapon or make any move or action toward this gentleman until he kicked the door open and forced the issue,” Wright said.

After Gates kicked in the door, the pistol pointed at him distracted him enough that the pastor was able to grab the shotgun. Members of the church kept him down until deputies arrived, Wright said.

As the article details, Mr. Gates had a history of bugging church members with his less than entirely rational behavior. Thankfully, it’s now firmly in the past. But anyone who thinks that armed citizens aren’t the first line of defense against violence face a less certain future than the ones who do. IMHO.


  1. avatar Blake says:

    Outstanding work: Excellent situational awareness along with a plan to deal with the situation.

  2. avatar Sam Wright says:

    Gates was charged with burglary, disturbing a place of worship and attempted kidnapping.
    They have a special law against disturbing a place of worship?
    Good job by all the church members. Mr. Gates should undergo psychiatric evaluation, and his sister should have her head examined.
    I wonder if Sheriff Chuck Wright is related to me?

  3. avatar 2Wheels says:

    Thankfully no one was hurt, but this does go to show that people who choose to carry in church aren’t crazy… They’re protecting themselves and their fellow worshippers from the REAL crazy people!

    1. avatar Hazzard Bagg says:

      The Pilgrims used to bring their matchlocks to church. They didn’t seem to have a problem packing in a place of worship…

    2. avatar Scot says:

      My pastor taught me to “believe in Jesus — but lock your car door”.

      I would carry in church if I could. Angry people are drawn to churches; out of desire to be healed or to get “even” with those who are happy. Once in a while it gets really out of hand and that’s when it would be nice to have a highly skilled gun owner in the congregation. And, if said gun owner also got a lot of wits about him or her no shots will need be fired.

      1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

        I am so happy it is not illegal in Missouri and I am the head of my church’s security. I granted myself permission . . . .

  4. avatar Ropingdown says:

    Yep. Because they carried in church they had a prayer.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:


  5. avatar pastubbs says:

    I carry in church and most of my church members are aware of that. I’ve never once had one of those “OMG he has a gun, A GUN IN A CHURCH” moments. But then again my church has camping events where young kids can get out of the house and have fun without video games and TV they even get a chance to shoot some small caliber firearms. They really like shooting those little cricket rifles at cans. Shooting at cans and old milk jugs is more enjoyable for a kid then shooing at a piece of paper or sitting in the house watching TV and playing video games.

  6. avatar Johnny says:

    Time to jump to conclusions:

    1. avatar Charles says:

      …or look in a mirror.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Amazing artwork, Charles. Rod Stewart was right. Every picture tells a story.

        1. avatar Charles says:

          Thank you, Ralph. Maybe I should send Rod my portfolio.

  7. avatar Tim says:

    Someone should point this story out to Mitch and Mikeb302000. On the topic of situational awareness, they seem to think everyone who carrys a gun and pays attention to thier environment is just a paroniod psycho. Like I said then, a nutjob can show up anywhere and anytime. Even in church. This story hits close to home. I live just a few miles outside of Boiling Springs. Sam Wright also asked about the law for disturbing a place of worship. Yes, some places do have special laws against disturbing a place of worship. Doesn’t matter what religion, just any place people gather to worship is protected by these laws.

  8. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    This is why I carry in church…

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      This is why I don’t go to church.

      1. avatar Tom says:

        You may have a point.

  9. avatar Daniel says:

    IMHO? You are too modest. Right is right is Right. Only the most far-out gun grabbers will refute the fact that armed self-defense defused the situation here.

  10. avatar Levi B says:

    My mom used to get on my case about carrying in church. Finally I compiled a list of links to stories about people busting into churches and shooting them up. She hasn’t mentioned it since.

  11. avatar Sanchanim says:

    Wow I am impressed.
    He stayed inconspicuous until he had no choice. Great job! He also didn’t fire straight away. No one was injured and the suspect was subdued and arrested! Great job!!!
    Good example of situational awareness done right!
    Personally I think anyone who wants to carry, should have some sort of training. It isn’t to make it harder, but hopefully like in this situation it enforces the right way to do things. It would have been easy and probably legal at the point he drew his weapon to simply shoot but he didn’t.

    1. avatar Tim says:

      I also think training should be required to carry. Not to make it overly hard to get a permit like some states do, but to at least make sure someone can hit what they’re shooting at and as you said “it enforces the right way to do things”. Don’t know how much training this guy has, but it appears he stayed calm and level headed through this. I agree, I think he could have shot him at any point and it would have been legal, but he didn’t. Staying calm and thinking strait could be the differance between a legal DGU and a murder charge.

  12. avatar Scot says:

    My pastor taught me to “believe in Jesus — but lock your car door”.

    I would carry in church if I could. Angry people are drawn to churches; out of desire to be healed or to get “even” with those who are happy. Once in a while it gets really out of hand and that’s when it would be nice to have a highly skilled gun owner in the congregation.

  13. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    my heart belongs to Jesus, but Glock is on my hip

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