Bill To Allow Concealed Handguns In Churches Advances


lukem

Administrator
Staff member
A bill to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry handguns into churches headed to the House floor Tuesday with a committee’s endorsement.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced House Bill 1237 by Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Cedarville, on a voice vote.

“Outside of six hours of worship a week, our church is a workplace. But the law forbidding concealed carry in churches is in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said pastor Nathan Petty of the Beech Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Fordyce, testifying for the measure.

Petty told the committee he recently heard a gunshot from an armed robbery in the area. The pastor said he has a concealed carry permit but does not take a gun into church because of a moral obligation to follow the law of the land — until and unless the law conflicts with his religious beliefs.

He also said a parishioner who cleans the church late at night is alone there. She has a permit but does not carry her gun for the same reason, he said.

Speaking against the bill, John Phillips, pastor of Central Church of Christ in Little Rock, said he was shot twice during a church service 23 years ago and still has a bullet lodged in his spine. However, he said that he still opposed the bill because it fosters the idea that willingness to resort to violence is the only guarantee of safety.

Some committee members expressed concern that a church would have to post a sign saying it did not want guns on the premises if the congregation still wanted to bar them should Pyle’s bill become law.

The 1995 concealed carry permit law specifically prohibits concealed weapons in places of worship. HB 1237 would allow them but also would allow a congregation to ban guns from the church. If the church prohibits carrying, it would have to display a sign at its entrance saying so under the provisions of the bill.

Speaking for the bill, Grant Exton, executive director for the Arkansas Concealed Carry Association, said all but two states allow concealed carry weapons into churches. Of those, 42 allow churches the option of banning the weapons on their premises, he said.

By Doug Thompson
Source: Arkansas News

Related:
KUAR: Ark. panel OKs allowing concealed guns in churches (2009-02-03)
 

SweetPain

New member
Hi lukem, hopefully this doesn't make me sound ignorant but in Iowa I don't recall that we have a restriction on carrying in places of worship. Does your post relate directly to Arkansas? I will go to the my local sheriff's website and see what it says there, I may answer my own question. Thanks.
 

lukem

Administrator
Staff member
Yes, it is Arkansas.

http://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/assembly/2009/R/Bills/HB1237.pdf

House Bill 1237

For An Act To Be Entitled
AN ACT TO REMOVE CHURCHES AND OTHER PLACES OF
WORSHIP FROM THE LIST OF PROHIBITED PLACES FOR A
PERSON LICENSED TO CARRY A CONCEALED HANDGUN TO
CARRY A CONCEALED HANDGUN; TO ALLOW A PERSON
LICENSED TO CARRY A CONCEALED HANDGUN TO CARRY A
CONCEALED HANDGUN IN PARKING LOTS OF CERTAIN
PLACES; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
 

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