Church security (courtesy
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I find it hard to believe that an entire West Texas church congregation was unarmed. I suspect that someone in the Sutherland Springs’ church was packing heat. Someone who died before he or she could return fire. Regardless, this heinous attack highlights the paramount importance of situational awareness. Armed or not, the sooner a good guy or gal detects a threat, alerts the crowd and initiates a counter-attack, the better. At that point, a ballistic option is way better than not having one. So . . .

are you armed at your house of worship? Is anyone? Do you sit in a particular location in case there is a lethal threat? Have you prepped your family for the possibility? Do you have a plan?

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  1. If I’m up, I’m armed. Damn seldom I go anywhere they won’t allow me to carry. The one exception hereabouts is family get togethers at the local Indian casinos, still makes me very nervous.

  2. Yes I’m armed when I go, but I know many people who I would guess are pretty conservative gun owners with carry permits in Texas, who find carrying guns in church to be “disrespectful” or something. But the church also has some armed security so that may be a decent enough deterrent for the average opportunist.

    In other words it’s a very individual thing and I wouldn’t always assume people are packing in church just because they would everywhere else.

  3. I know that Texas law does not support CCW in church. Technically, you could possibly face charges. Doesn’t seem to faze shooters looking to carry out death and destruction in a gun safe zone. That said, yes I carry in my house of worship, for the exact reason we see from this event.

      • Original law banned carry in church. Law was updated to say churches must post 30.06 signs to enforce.

        Iirc it now falls into an odd category of “not allowed unless the church doesn’t post”.

      • When Texas first got licensed concealed carry in 1995, one of the compromises to gain support for passage of the bill was to make certain places, such as churches and other places of worship, statutory gun free zones.

        In 1999, after the predicted shootouts between license holders never happened, the law was amended to remove churches from the list of gun free zones. Individual churches may still opt to ban guns, providing they comply with state law and post the proper signage advising that concealed and/or open carry of firearms is prohibited. However, there is no longer a blanket ban on church carry.

        The same goes for hospitals, too, by the way.

  4. I asked the same question. Yup I am armed at church. And every where else I go. I carry every day. I am on the hospitality team and the medical response team. And We also have a security team which I plan to join as well. So not only do we have at least the 6 or so guys in security we have many more who conceal carry. I am a Greeter and am at the main entrance. If this had happened at my church this guy wouldn’t have gotten very far. If I had not yet been shot I will defend myself and my house of worship.

    • I like that “hospitality team”.

      You offer welcome, fellowship, and friendship to all those who come in good will.

      At the same time you serve Christ by helping protect His beloved sheep from murderous fiends.

  5. I’m always armed at church, as are several of our pastors, and probably a dozen other guys (and likely several ladies). We also have a designated and armed security team, and a bunch of cops, and veterans in our congregation.

    Medium sized (around 300 attendance) conservative Baptist church in a conservative part of the country

    Of course something horrible like this could still happen. At least there would be return fire.

  6. Yes, along with possibly half of the adult congregation, and a handful of LEO who are members. Our ushers (including me) are not only armed, but tasked with informal security. Prior to yesterday’s incident, we had an active shooter training scheduled to be led by a retired LEO member who provides such training to local congregations (including what I believe is the largest mosque in the country, which happens to be in my town).

  7. Nope, I am an Atheist…so not really an issue for me. That said, I am usually armed on Sunday…just incase one of those crazy Baptist tries to stop me from having a beer, dancing or listening to devil music.

        • Thanks…had to wipe this evenings beverage off my phone after reading that reply! Well played. Damn well played…and I needed the laugh.

      • As someone who belongs to a Reformist Church where we have Communion every week with real wine, and alcohol, dancing, and smoking is present at many social functions, and yet also attend a Baptist Church with my sister, I can attest that Baptist’s extreme legalism is rather annoying.

    • You know the only difference between a Methodist and a Baptist is the Methodist talk to each other at the beer store. 🙂

      I carry at Church also. No formal agreements at my Church, but I have noticed a few that do carry.

  8. Yes, I’m armed at church, and due to certain responsibilities, often have an ideal vantage point.

    I also used to carry at another church where I was employed, but thought better of telling my immediate boss about it. Years later, I found out that he was packing every Sunday, too.

  9. My spouse and I may or may not be armed at church. And I know of, at most, two members who are armed at church. Unfortunately they are frequently absent.

    My family tends to sit in particular locations in case there is an attack. My family has not discussed a formal plan in case of attack. I tend to think it is obvious: everyone gets down low and our children do their best to escape. My spouse leads the children and I may or may not engage the attacker.

    Note: I have composed a near doctoral level dissertation that I am planning to disrupt present at my church which emphatically states our NEED to have armed members and guests at our church.

  10. Yes…Hammond,IN 1st Baptist is heavily armed. Formal cops open carrying,church member security team and many CCL folks. I’m not 100% sure but the pastor is probably packing. This is a large operation with several buildings and 5-10thousand on any given Sunday…

    • You don’t really know what you’re talking about. You should ask your pastor or “chief” what the policy is, the one the insurance company dictates.

        • And in true statist fashion, disarmament policies only apply to other people, the little people. Offerings pay for your pastor’s armed detail, but the laity has to just hope for the best.

          Really, you should ask around as I suggested. It’s Indiana like you said so at least you do get one free warning. After that you’ll be charged with trespass. Otherwise concealed means concealed, friend.

  11. I am not a Church goer (Agnostic, not Atheist), but if I were, I would definitely be armed and choose a tactically advantageous area to sit relative to entrances and exits. I’m essentially physically armed or within a few feet of a ready-to-go firearm 24/7, except where prohibited by Federal or State law. Situational Awareness is my friend and I practice it at all times.

  12. Always. After the Christmas party shooting in San Bernardino, I upped my game and carry everywhere possible, and avoid places I can’t carry. My church encourages it, and I pity the fool who comes to shoot up my church.

  13. It does not matter if you were armed or not because you would have no chance against a guy with a bullet proof vest and armed with an assault rifle while you were only armed with a pop gun pistol. He has all the advantage in accuracy as well. He would not miss with a rifle while you would be hard pressed to aim for his face and actually hit him. He would also have the advantage of surprise as well. Everything would be on his side and none on yours. Your idea of fighting back and winning is nothing more than pure fantasy.

      • To Chips in the head (bizzaro)

        What kind of bizarre planet do you live in Chips in the head. You have got more chips jammed up there than usual. No the armed citizen did not win. No. 1 no one in the church had a gun at least that we know of and if they did try and use one they ended up dead on the floor (exactly what my post alluded to). Yes a guy came across the street and by that time everyone was dead including half (13) who were children. Some victory Genius. Brother you really went off your rocker on this post.

      • To chips in the head (bizarro)

        And by the way before you come back with your propaganda that the guy with the rifle who lived across the street saved lives. Again that’s bullshit too. The nut case had already killed everyone he wanted to kill and he was in the process of leaving so no, the guy across the street did not do much of anything except chase after him and the police would have nailed him as well as the vehicle was reported and the direction of travel and he was being followed as well. In the end the nut did what they all do he committed suicide.

        • Based on your comments, specifically how you know he’d killed as many as he planned to, perhaps you should contact local law enforcement and share your information?

          Either that, or just come clean and say you’re talking out your ass. The truth is that neither of us have any idea what was going to happen after the shooter left the church. The only thing we do know is that the shooter ran after being engaged. Then, as often occurs (as you point out), the shooter offed themselves AFTER encountering armed resistance. In this case, it was a guy with a hunting rifle instead of the closest LEO, who was apparently at least ten minutes away.

          The argument that the armed citizens who engaged shooter guy may have shortened the attack is valid. Your bloviating bullshit pretending to know the mind of the killer is not.

    • So I guess the same thing would go for the police responding to any such even since they only have pistols too. I guess it’s just more fantasy that the police would be able to stop him too.

      ps: Body armor doesn’t actually cover most of the body.

      • Police generally carry a long gun in their vehicle – usually an AR15 these days, or a shotgun

        Still, I think half a dozen people in the congregation pulling out their .380/.38sp/9mm/40/45 would change the scenario pretty quickly.

        Besides that, in the 1993 St. James Church massacre, one off duty cop with a .38 revolver managed to somehow (by God’s grace) chase off four terrorists armed with grenades and full auto assault rifles.

    • Cisco, blanket statements such as yours aren’t helpful. Yes, he has several advantages. Doesn’t mean one shouldn’t try. Or are you a sheep, too afraid to fight and maybe die, preferring to roll over and offer your throat to the advantaged attacker?

      • You really cannot see the forest for the trees. We should not have to go to church and have shoot outs on a weekly basis rather if we had vetting of all second hand gun purchases, if we had a firearms i.d. card that was only issued after a mental test and background check, if we had the Neanderthals in the Military getting up off their dead asses and sending in the info on nut case storm troopers to the National back ground check, if we had States doing their job and updating the latest mental health info to the National background check system tens of thousands of firearms would be kept out of the hands of criminals and nut cases. Throwing up your hands and saying lets do nothing except shoot it out on the freeways when we get cut off and have nut cases shoot at us or turn churches into Sunday shooting galleries as a way of life is about as insane as it can get.

        Of course we could not do any of this because our corrupt Congressional system that was designed to function by bribery would not be able to funnel money into the pockets of prostitute Congressmen who do not do what is morally right but rather do what is politically expedient not to mention lining their pockets with gold. Its the American way and look what it has brought us, weekly mass murder, mayhem and the rest of the civilized world saying “Christ we are glad we do not live with the ignorant Hill Jacks in the U.S. of Hey”.

    • Try it out for yourself.

      Put what the shooter had on and allow someone to start putting 9mm rounds center mass as quick as they can.

      You will quite surprised I think.

        • “Why limit it to center mass?”

          Ups the chance of making hits, especially since during an adrenaline dump, you fine motor skills go right in the crapper since “fingers turning into flippers” in a high-stress situation is a very real thing.

          And there is *nothing* more stressful than your impending death.

          It’s a big part of why you hear about cops launching a *lot* of lead at the target yet making relatively few hits on the person they were shooting at…

        • Center mass because I’m old and shaky, I can guarantee that if I empty the mag, he’ll look like he was hit by a shotgun blast.

        • @Geoff & Larry, I was making a joke about Manse Jolly’s specific suggestion that Cisco wear armor and let people shoot him center mass.

    • Cisco, just because you’ve decided to roll up in a ball and suck your thumb doesn’t mean the rest of us have. Don’t worry, you’ll still benefit from the rest of us who haven’t given up. People like you always do.

    • Your use of phony terms like “bullet proof vest” and “assault rifle” reveal that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Even with a bullet RESISTANT vest, that only covers your torso, and only partially at that. You’re still vulnerable in the legs, feet, waist and groin area, arms, neck, and head, as well the sides of the torso in the gap between the vest’s front and back panels.

      Moreover, getting shot in the chest isn’t just a piddly little thump. It can break your ribs, knock the wind out of you, and will leave a nasty, painful bruise. Thus, a vest isn’t a magical force field like in some super hero movie.

      At the distances at which these attacks usually take place, the accuracy advantages of one platform over another are greatly reduced. Even so, you’re thinking in terms of gun range target shooting, but that’s the wrong standard to measure effectiveness here.

      If you’re standing there shooring, the instant you realize someone is returning fire, you’re going to duck for cover, if not break iff the attack entirely. That ends the attack
      It doesn’t necessarily require a perfect pistol kill shot right between the eyes.

      • Before you go shooting off your big fat ignorant mouth I refer you to the nut case that shot up the Colorado movie theater. He had a bullet proof cap, bullet proof high collar, and bullet proof pants as well, no one with a pistol would have been able to touch him and he knew it and with an assault rifle the people with a pistol would have been a sitting duck.

        The fantasy that your pistol will save the day is pure nonsense especially when he has the element of surprise to boot and he has the body armor to go with it. You would be a dead duck within seconds.

    • Tactical vest or no, at the distances we’re talking about inside a Church sanctuary, I promise you that a .45 round to that vest, even if it does kill him, will make the shooter stop what he’s doing. Multiple hits to that vest will take him off his feet. Body armour isn’t Captain America’s shield.

      • To Tony

        Now your mouthing the same old nonsense about the .45 acp being able to knock a person off his feet or spin him around like a top or make him disappear in a red puff of mist. Obviously you flunked physics 101. Look it up some time and you will feel quite foolish you ever made such a statement. The first round that would hit him and he would simply stand there and blow you to kingdom come. You would get no chance at multiple hits and even if you some how managed more than one shot he would only stand there and laugh at you while he blew you away with a high power assault rifle.

        • The .45 isn’t a magical round, but it is a big heavy round that delivers a lot of energy to the target.
          I didn’t say it would kill him, but, and I admit that I’m not speaking from personal experience, but speaking with 2 people I know personally, one military and one law enforcement who have been shot while wearing body armour, it feels something akin to being hit with a baseball bat.
          It may not kill him, but it will disrupt him. He isn’t just going to just stand there absorbing rounds and shrugging them off, even if he is wearing a ballistic vest.

    • um, what exactly is an “assault rifle?” did you mean a modern sporting rifle, or perhaps an ARMORLITE RIFLE?

      now to my answer to the posted question, church can mean several things, to some folks in motorcycle clubs church is a gathering of brothers, to a religious group of really any culture it is a gathering of the masses to praise and worship an individual God. while I may do one and not the other, yes, i absolutely carry, and when I am in ANY mass gathering of people I may pack double with extra mags for both/all.

      you want to stop MASS SHOOTINGS? STOP gathering in MASSES!

  14. Here in Georgia if you are caught carrying a weapon in a church that does not allow carry, you will be ticketed and fined up to $100. You will also be subject to losing your GWL for up to 5 years. Currently my church doesn’t allow it. Tough.

    I’ll risk being caught, so I’ll be able to protect myself and others.

    • Your church needs to change it’s policy on this issue, or you need to find another church. Incidents like this show the folly of such a policy.

      Calmly, and rationally explain the issue to your church leadership.

  15. If I wake up breathing in the morning.. I’m armed..

    After San Bernardino, I started carring my backpack.., now equipped with ballistic plates..

    Praise the lord.. and pass the ammunition..

  16. Almost always on the rare days I get to attend. A man who burned his brain up with drugs and with a violent history lives next door to the church. His rottweiler bit a church elder. The brain burned man shot his own dog rather than let the county put it down. Now he blames the church for the death of his dog and posts bizarre signs and messages about the dog on fence posts near his property near the church, facing the church. Somehow he seems to be trying to blame the death of his son on the church as well, although the boy died in a house fire at his mother’s house.

    There are also “refugees” from the worst country in the world starting to move in not far away.

    • quote:————————–There are also “refugees” from the worst country in the world starting to move in not far away.————————–Quote

      I had a few move into my neighborhood and I introduced myself and made them feel wanted and welcomed as well as helping them out when I could. One turned out to be a dentist whom now has become “my” dentist. Another family had a young girl that became a nurse and much to my surprise was assigned to my bedside at the hospital and took excellent care of me. Another opened a convenience store and even stocked my favorite brand of milk just to please me. That really floored me. Meanwhile one redneck family in the neighborhood moved out much to my relief. They always had loud music going on and often shot tin cans which put stray bullets in my yard. Yep they were so called “real Americans.” I was instrumental in getting another refuge family to move in next door to them and naturally the red necks panicked and moved out which was my plan all along. It was like taking candy from a baby. Now I no longer have to call the cops every other day and make complaints against the red necks. When they left I waved to them and of course they had found out it was I who had the refugees move in next to them. I will be laughing over that one for years to come. Now we have a quite peaceful neighborhood with hardworking refugee people who respect other peoples rights to a quiet neighborhood free of stray bullets zinging through the air. Too bad I do not live in your neighborhood, I would get many more to move in next to you. Have a nice day.

      • Wow, red necks shooting guns in their back yards ? You live in a really shitty neighborhood.

        People like that only live where they can afford to. Others will replace them. Too bad for you.

  17. Our church has asked us not to, excepting of course those carrying in official capacity. I thought about it a lot and was planning on it for someday, but I currently don’t have the means, and I’ll not be going against church policy now that I know.

    I know it’s an unpopular opinion around here, but it’s where I’m at. I completely support those who can and do, though. It goes without saying that people should be legally allowed to defend themselves wherever they are.

  18. I am an atheist, but I do go to church twice a year for my mom’s sake (the anniversary of my grandma’s death, and once on Christmas) Church carry is prohibited where I live…..but concealed is concealed.

  19. I don’t go to any type of services but I’ve heard this said.

    He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”
    — Luke 22:36, NIV

  20. Yep, even though several things I’ve heard from 2 of our 3 pastors leads me to believe they are not big fans of guns… My wife and I have often wondered how many others carry, medium sized church in constitutional carry state… After the news this morning I offered to buy my wife a new purse, which she was excited about, until I told her that it needed a full zipper and large enough to fit a keltec sub 2000… haha! Although I did get her to a maybe… 🙂

  21. If I’m in church for any reason, even to clean it, I’m armed. Done this since I got my first carry permit 32 years ago.

  22. I’m a deist, so the entire world is my church, so to speak. I carry everywhere I’m legally allowed. As for other places like churches, well, that’s between me and my Creator.

  23. I haven’t been carrying on Sunday as I know several members in one of my congregations do, with one sitting by the doors. At my second church, I am wearing a clergy robe which makes it nigh impossible to access a weapon as it has a pocket slit on the right side and I am left-handed.
    That said, my secretary who sews has taken the robe home to modify the hem on the left side. So my answer will now be “Yes”.

  24. church is the LAST PLACE i wouldnt carry

    between the antifa scum like this and the adherents of islam its a no brainer

    its going to get worse before it gets better

    something about “birth pains” comes to mind…

    MATTHEW 24

    until my church puts a sign up that says everyone AND their ar-15 is welcome here i might have to start bringing TWO guns to church…

  25. One of the few places I don’t carry is in my church. We attend a large congregation with a well-equipped security team. Plain clothes armed security take up strategic positions in the sanctuary, and if I were to pull out my concealed carry gun in the event of a shooting, I would most likely end up dead.

  26. It’s been suggested that this guy quite literally shot up the church and the people in it, from outside the building. He didn’t do much, if any shooting at all, from inside of the church. I’m a big believer in concealed carry, and I too am armed from the minute I’m awake, or thereabouts. The victims here merely saw the inside of their church being ripped to shreds by an unknown assailant. I’m sure there were armed folks inside, but if it’s true that the shooting all came from outside, they had zero chance. This incident, like Vegas, shows that perpetrators of such crimes are evolving and searching out ways to put distance between themselves and their victims before even firing a shot…for fear of being engaged by regular people, with guns. I’d still recommend that everyone who is able to, should carry, but to those of us who already do: Take note, you can have the gear and all of the situational awareness in the world, and still come out on the wrong end of the stick.

    • Interesting observation, Ed. We know that spree killers do study and learn from each other, if for no other reason than to increase the body count and one-up the last guy. Attacks on closely huddled groups, whether massive like concert goers or small like church goers, may emerge as the next trend in spree shootings.

      What I’m dreading is the well organized killer who wants to rewrite the books and become the first serial spree killer. As much fear and terror as a killer committing murders one at a time can impose on a city, imagine what a spree killer with a proven calling card who repeatedly escapes and strikes again would do to the population.

      The political pressure would be unbearable to capture someone who killed a couple dozen people each time in sequential events. Entire cities would be on lockdown. Even staunch 2A supporters might cave in to calls for confiscation.

  27. “Question of the Day: Are You Armed At Church?”

    While I don’t attend a “traditional” church, every time I walk out my door, I’m armed…

  28. Easy answer. When you delegate your personal safety and the safety of your loved one’s to people or organizations who can’t protect you. There’s a likely chance when something bad happens the price will be very high. For those that believe remember God helps those who helps themselves. I believe I’ll keep that responsibility close to my hip and fully loaded. To each their own.

  29. Yep. Preacher is also a gun collector and is probably always packing too. Unless I am in a courthouse or school I am carrying.

  30. Yes I am always armed at church. I carry a small makarov either in my jacket or in a IWB holder, depending on what I am wearing.

  31. Yes, like most here, I always carry, and in Virginia it’s legal to carry in a house of worship.

    Just realized, though, that a lot of the members whom I knew carried are no longer attending or with us. I should probably put out some feelers to the current members I suspect are armed. We have a new guy who wears his VCDL shirt to church. Think I’ll start with him.

  32. As many have noted above, if I’m up, I’m carrying. I’m always carrying in synagogue. I have switched from a LC9s pocket carry to a P239 OWB carry for easier access. After this spree killing, I’m toying with upgrading to an M&P 9mm.

    BTW, according to the congregation president, carrying is “discouraged, but not forbidden”. She said that the city police told her that armed congregants would “confuse responding police officers”. Um, yeah. I’m thinking that by the time any po-pos get’s there, the event will be over and I can holster. There only 1 other person I know that carries at services when he attends. Well, 1 or 2 defensive guns is better than none.

  33. Unfortunately I live in Hawaii so carrying at church, or anywhere else is not even an option. I’d go so far as to say that if something like what happened in Texas, happened in Hawaii and someone in the church was carrying and stopped the shooter, that person will still be charged with a felony firearms violation, will go to prison, and will forever lose their right to bear arms.

  34. Yes and I doubt I’m the only one. However even with constitutional carry very few people open carry and concealed means concealed.

    I usually carry IWB and leave my shirt untucked. One year for Christmas mass I decided to wear a sport coat, shirt tucked and pistol IWB outside the shirt and under the coat. During mass the sport coat got caught on the pistol grip and it took a few moments to get it unstuck. It was obvious to the family behind me that I was carrying and I was worried they’d share some unkind words after mass. Then I heard the father behind me chuckle.

    Unfortunately I’m not sure how the pastor would feel about having parishioners armed in church so I’ve never broached the topic with him. He grew up in New Jersey.

  35. I don’t go to church, but I’m armed everywhere I go. From what I’ve seen, most of the churches in my part of Texas aren’t posted. There are a couple of exceptions, mainly Catholic and Methodist churches (should tell you what you need to know about those sects). If I can’t avoid a posted business, I just carry right past the signs. I mainly run in to that situation at hospitals, they’re almost universally posted around here. I guess they think that a few Paul Blarts with flashlights can keep their campuses safe.

  36. I live in Florida, where you can carry in church. In deference to our Pastor, who has made his feelings on our carrying in church well known, I do not carry… a firearm. I’m never without a knife. Poor fallback alternative, but better than nothing. We sit in a specific location in church where I have a direct route to any one of three of the major exits from the church. I also have a view of everything behind me in the reflection from the windows on side chapel. I’ve gone over the various scenarios, for attackers inside the church and out, and have my plans for fleeing or fighting. Fleeing isn’t a great option in our church. It’s possible to lock in the church due to a limited number of exits and outside is a large wide open area with no cover or concealment.

  37. What has ‘church’ got to do with being armed?

    If I’m up, I’m armed. If I go some place, I’m armed– and I don’t have enough education to understand what the signs on doors say. (If ya don’t believe me, just ask.)

    Only a fool will encumber or entrust another with the lives of their self and loved ones.

  38. Here in North Texas the catholic bishop put up the legal signage to ban both open and concealed carry. While I don’t don’t attend mass anymore (or a multitude of reasons starting with the Red Pope and his commie beliefs) when I take my kids to events at various churches you better believe I carry. Signs be damned. My CZ P10c plus a spare mag and a SWAT-T tourniquet/pressure dressing are always with me.

  39. I got my LTC last year and finally found a holster that is comfortable for my small frame and lets me conceal with a tucked in shirt. I had been “usually” carrying in church, now I will always be carrying at church.

  40. When I was a churchgoer, I went armed. If I am ever a churchgoer in the future, I will go armed.

    I imagine God doesn’t care IF you carry a gun into a church. He cares WHY you carry a gun into a church.

  41. In church, out of church, at home, everywhere I am and can I’m armed, heck I would be armed in the shower if the gun was waterproof. During shower time it is sitting just outside the shower on the vanity.

  42. I don’t go to Church unless I need to go out of politeness and respect for someone else’s religion.

    But when I do go, you can bet your ass I’m carrying.

  43. Yes I carry in church and everywhere else unless it’s illegal and they have metal detectors. I also carry in our local movie theater even though they have posted signs against it. As the saying goes ” I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by six” . I don’t live in SF they would get it right where I am from.


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