What business does the state have banning guns from places of worship? It’s private property. Shouldn’t the owners of a given piece of property be allowed to decide whether or not they will or won’t allows firearms on their own little slice of the American dream? That’s a semi-rhetorical question (Martin). Obviously, the state government feels free to dictate to the public who can own firearms; and where/how/why and when they can carry/store/shoot them. I’m sure some case can be made for why places of worship should be killing fields—I mean, gun-free sanctuaries. A non-congregant could enter a churches, synagogues, Wicca invocations, etc., unknowingly facing the danger of not being killed by a terrorist—I mean, unknowingly facing the internet dangers of an armed assembly of God or Satan-fearing men, women and children. For example, “This would make Pentecostal church service even scarier than they already are. Imagine some guy being overcome with the holy spirit, speaking in tongues with a loaded side arm.” Let’s get to this, shall we?
Yesterday, the Louisiana legislature passed House Bill 68. If/when approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, Pelican State permit holderes will be able to pack heat in LouZeeAnna’s places of worship. With a couple of caveats:
House Bill 68 allows churches, mosques, and synagogues to choose to establish a “security plan” for their constituents, permitting members of the congregation with concealed weapons permits to carry guns during services.
One of the amendments requires those who are part of the security plan to go through eight hours of tactical training, provided by local law enforcement. The other amendments require that the congregation be notified that the security force exists, and prohibits any guns from being used in places of worship on college campuses.
The wording [directly] above is a little misleading. In this version of the law, worshipful members don’t HAVE to opt-in to the non-secular security force. They can carry even if they view the government as a godless, proto-tyrannical organization secretly planning to confiscate their firearms. Or that God talk them to take up the serpent, for that matter.
Of course, the funny thing is, House 68 “corrects a problem” that many in Louisiana didn’t even know existed. Bill sponsor State Rep. Henry Burns (R) admitted that “many people say they didn’t know it was against the law to carry weapons into church in the first place.” Won’t they be relieved when they learn a law that they thought wasn’t there, isn’t.
Places off-limits when carrying in Colorado:
1. Any place prohibited by federal law (e.g. federal offices or courthouse)
2. Any property of public school grades kindergarten through 12, unless the firearm remains inside a container in a locked vehicle
3. Any public building that prohibits ALL weapons which posts guards and permanent metal detectors at all entrances and requires all entrants to surrender handguns to security personnel before entry
We had a situation here in CO where a gun-toting security guard at a mega-church was able to take down a killer after he had already murdered several other people in another church at another location. It’s sad but it happens. As to the law, many of the “early adopters” of “shall issue” CCW had to make significant compromises in order to get their CCW bills passed. No guns in churches, no guns in bars, schools, courthouses, etc.
Fortunately, as the CCW hysteria has abated somewhat, the later states that adopted “shall issue” CCW had fewer restrictions. Here in CO we have almost none. You can carry in a church, a bar, or just about any place else. In fact, although I don’t know if the law’s ever been tested, you can legally carry in a state or local government building, to include a courthouse, as long as it doesn’t have a metal detector system like an airport. Of course, private property owners have the right to prohibit people from carrying weapons on their property, but AFAIK the only thing they can do if they find you carrying in violation of thier rules is ask you to leave.