What to say to an open carry visitor at church?
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Thread: What to say to an open carry visitor at church?

  1. What to say to an open carry visitor at church?

    I pastor a church in a rural/suburban area of Washington state (OC legal). We have a policy prohibiting OC at our worship service (CC OK). If you were to visit our church for worship, what's the best way for me to inform you of the policy? Here's what is what I plan to say after personally welcoming you and exchanging names (not from the front, but one-to-one):

    "I am glad you have come to worship. We do not allow open carry in this building during worship because we have found that it distracts too many people. You may carry concealed if you have a permit or lock your gun in your car. I hope you will choose one of those options and stay."

    If you can comply, great. If not, I would ask you to leave.

    Thanks for the feedback. If I need to do this in the future, I would like to get it right.

    Rich

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Living rent free in Bluesstringer's head apparently
    Posts
    148
    Is your church posted? If not that should be the first thing you do
    The finest Vodka is a razor Matthew, it leaves no ragged edges.

  4. Not posted yet. Recently approved policy prompted by an OC visitor, first time in 9 years as a pastor. See the need to post, but would prefer not to draw any attention to it, but handle it on a case by case basis with positive interaction.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe Area, New Mexico
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    3,487
    Why ban OC? One would think that a congregation of God loving, prudent people is what you're striving for. Maybe you should offer CC/OC gun safety class as a after worship workshop. I would think that defeating evil and taking full responsibility of ones actions guided by God would be a benefit to all.
    I'm just not sure why you would even has to ask.
    "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    59
    I strongly object to banning OC, but if it's not posted then it's not posted. If you tell me my gun is not welcome, then I am not welcome either. I will leave and take my gun with me. But until I'm told, we both stay.

  7. #6
    Would God ask someone to leave because they were OCing?
    Certified NRA Firearms Instructor
    Oklahoma SDA Instructor
    Utah CCW Instructor

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mappow View Post
    Why ban OC? One would think that a congregation of God loving, prudent people is what you're striving for. Maybe you should offer CC/OC gun safety class as a after worship workshop. I would think that defeating evil and taking full responsibility of ones actions guided by God would be a benefit to all.
    I'm just not sure why you would even has to ask.
    I'll ask this as well -why ban OC? Where in the scriptures does it prohibit it? We are for the RKBA, but not in the House of the Lord? Why must it be hidden? Is there some commandment in there I am forgetting? Not sure I get it. BTW - I am not religious and do not do church -perhaps it is because people keep thinking they know what the Lord wants.
    Si vis pacem para bellum

  9. Greate quote, “I don’t understand why I can carry as I come into your businesses and that’s my right under the Second Amendment, but when I enter into my own church, then all of a sudden I leave that weapon behind?”

  10. mappow, the only answer is that this is where we are at as a congregation right now. Our church is not a gun-free zone. Most Sundays there are 2-3 folks who carry concealed. I assume that there are more in vehicles. We have plenty of hunters. I choose to use my gun at home for home defense and at the range for practice, though may yet chose to carry. But, currently, as a whole OC is distracting from our purpose of worshiping God and learning to follow Jesus as close as we can this side of heaven. Could change in the future, but I have bigger fish to fry for now.

    I appreciate your perspective, iKarith, and understand that some or most OC folks feel the same way.

    Back to my original statement in quotes above... Is it adequate? Clear? As welcoming as possible, given a policy that some will find unwelcoming by definition?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    South Carolina by way of PA
    Posts
    144
    How about, "good morning and thank you for joining us to worship this morning"....nice Glock/SW/Ruger/Kimber...maybe inserted here ;-) Then if it's still a problem I'd spend more time speaking to your congregation about welcoming all who choose to worship. That is of course unless you're convinced the Krypton doors will keep the bad guys from entering, then just throw the bum out.
    I think you're misdirecting your attention concerning the source of the problem.
    Just my $.02

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