Arkansas to allow concealed guns in churches

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The Arkansas House of Representatives has overwhelmingly passed a measure that would allow concealed guns to be carried in churches and houses of worship, and the governor’s office says it plans to sign the bill.

The measure, which passed 85-8 on Monday, gives houses of worship the option of allowing concealed weapons.

Passed by the state Senate in an equally lopsided 28-4 vote last week, the bill states it is “immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, and safety” because “personal security is increasingly important.”

“A person should be allowed to carry a firearm in a church that permits the carrying of a firearm for personal security,” the bill reads.

The bill was originally sponsored by Republican state Sen. Bryan King from Green Forest, a rural town in northern Arkansas. In an interview with CNN, he called churches “soft targets” that deserved to be able to protect themselves.

“In the previous law, people with a concealed carry licence could not carry in church. No carry was allowed,” said King. “Now, this just allows each church to make their own individual decision.”

In particular, King said, the law was important for rural communities, where “it could be thirty minutes to an hour” before police respond to a violent incident in a church.

Written By: Dan Merica
continue to source article at religion.blogs.cnn.com

38 COMMENTS

  1. Paranoia has now been taken to a new level. What about relying on your God to protect you in his house of worship? The all powerful Shepperd who watches over and protects his flock of mindless sheep. Sorry my fellow humans who just happen to be born in America – but this is totally daft. Is going to church really that dangerous these day (for the Christians the most dangerous thing is learning about science)? I could almost understand this if it was a predominately African-American church and the rival religiously driven nutters the KKK was coming to get you (this is Arkansas after all). But really! Has American society become so dangerous that it comes to this? Or (and I suspect this is the most likely scenario) that there are special interest groups who want to scare the crap out of ordinary people for their own narrow agenda? Do they have the evidence that church shootings are a big problem? Sure there have been some statistically isolated cases; but with the tens if not hundreds of thousands of churches in the US, is it a real problem or just one that has been invented?

  2. Yep when god goes AWOL…’praise dat lawd and pass the ammunition brotha’

    Bit of luck they will eradicate each other in time, a few church massacres by ‘gud Christian ‘ol bhoy’ martyrs might be rather ironic and so very likely given the IQ and EQ scores of the congregation.

  3. The big problem with churches in America is that they do not pay taxes.

    In reply to #3 by Eyerish:

    Paranoia has now been taken to a new level. What about relying on your God to protect you in his house of worship? The all powerful Shepperd who watches over and protects his flock of mindless sheep. Sorry my fellow humans who just happen to be born in America – but this is totally daft. Is going to church really that dangerous these day (for the Christians the most dangerous thing is learning about science)? I could almost understand this if it was a predominately African-American church and the rival religiously driven nutters the KKK was coming to get you (this is Arkansas after all). But really! Has American society become so dangerous that it comes to this? Or (and I suspect this is the most likely scenario) that there are special interest groups who want to scare the crap out of ordinary people for their own narrow agenda? Do they have the evidence that church shootings are a big problem? Sure there have been some statistically isolated cases; but with the tens if not hundreds of thousands of churches in the US, is it a real problem or just one that has been invented?

  4. So, if CONCEALED guns are now allowed in church, does that mean that UNCONCEALED guns have always been allowed, or have unconcealed guns never been allowed?

    What is this whole business about guns being concealed or unconcealed?

  5. I wonder if we could find a way to stop being at war somewhere 24/7 if we might see some of the more crazy gun attitudes at home dissipate, or at least some of the more vocal -and this is important- affluent proponents of loose gun laws find less support from the scary. Maybe that’s a non sequitur.

    But besides our many foreign enemies we have little to fear, and even from them I’ve heard smarter folks than myself say about how afraid we should be -not so much.

    Violent crime in the US has been declining for years now.

  6. Insanity. What happens if someone legally came into a church with their concealed weapon and started spraying the congregation with bullets? This bill assumes that people who carry out mass shootings care about their own survival, but we know that many of them shoot themselves when they’re done.

  7. I’d like to see more data on this, but someone has said there were 115 church shootings last year and 5 school shootings – I guess the churches need more guns?

    The school/church where I went to was concerned about shootings. There was always a rumor among students (which I doubt) that the pulpit was bulletproof, but one of my teachers was a black belt who acted as the pastor’s security guard. And they did have a guy come in waving a gun once.

  8. In reply to #2 by Sensible:

    QuestioningKat: “But you can still leave your purse on the pew unattended.”
    Did you mean “But can you still leave your purse on the pew unattended.”

    It’s a Sick Society

    No Sensible, You CAN still leave your purse on the pew unattended. It’s standard church etiquette. But you can now bring a gun. Doesn’t that make sense to you?

  9. In reply to #9 by I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing:

    Insanity. What happens if someone legally came into a church with their concealed weapon and started spraying the congregation with bullets? This bill assumes that people who carry out mass shootings care about their own survival, but we know that many of them shoot themselves when they’re done.

    They probably reason that if others in the congregation had guns the shooter could be stopped before shooting even more people. This is probably in response to Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting and Sandy Hook. Rather than banning military styled weapons, just arm everyone.

  10. Perhaps someone in the know can help me on this one. As I understand it these people believe that in the case of the rapture occurring then their clothes will be left behind. What about their hand guns? Surely god doesn’t plan to infringe their second amendment rights does he?

  11. I can’t see this ending well. Self-help justice – i.e. letting civilians police themselves unprofessionally without an impartial third party to keep them from their own selfish biases – rarely helps to lower crime rates.

  12. Obviously, these churchgoing types have suffered so many mass shootings in their churche sthat they feel the need to defend themselves.I wonder how many people will die in the crossfire of defending themselves if a car backfires outside the door.

  13. Why not concealed stones? Isn’t that what a good Christian is supposed to throw when threatened with something they don’t approve of?

    And what about concealed swords? I bet one would fit down your trouser leg. Guns must be as lethal as swords, if not even more lethal. So why aren’t swords allowed?

  14. In reply to #12 by QuestioningKat:

    In reply to #9 by I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing:

    Insanity. What happens if someone legally came into a church with their concealed weapon and started spraying the congregation with bullets? This bill assumes that people who carry out mass shootings care about their own survival, but we know that many of them shoot themselves when they’re done.

    They probably reason that if others in the congregation had guns the shooter could be stopped before shooting even more people.

    I agree with you about their probable reasoning, such as it is.

  15. Previously the concealed carry permit regulations in Arkansas specifically prohibited firearms in “places of worship”. Over the years there were several armed robberies and vendetta shootings in and around churches.

    One of the reasons for getting a CHL permit is because you have genuine threat against you. Sort of made such people sitting ducks if they liked to attend church.

    The new law requires the churches to individually allow carry in the buildings during service.

    For the record I do have an AR CHL. If you lived where I do you would be foolish not to :P

  16. In reply to #18 by smitemeifudare:

    Obviously, these churchgoing types have suffered so many mass shootings in their churche sthat they feel the need to defend themselves.I wonder how many people will die in the crossfire of defending themselves if a car backfires outside the door.

    Not nearly as many as have died in “gods” name.

  17. I think the ironic thing is they are arming to protect themselves from others that are just like themselves, Major church shooting incidents appear to be surprise surprise, religiously motivated and nominally Christian perpetrators, now that is a novel fact!

  18. In reply to #31 by Jon Snow:

    I think the ironic thing is they are arming to protect themselves from others that are just like themselves, Major church shooting incidents appear to be surprise surprise, religiously motivated and nominally Christian perpetrators, now that is a novel fact!

    Arm them all I say, their hatred of each other eclipses their intelligence every time, although that is not hard.
    Let them concentrate their bile and leave them to it…it is rather a foregone conclusion.

    In fact make a law that demands that guns can only be carried in church, that will sort it out right rapid.

    One thing, it kindda blows a whole a mile wide in the xtian claims that their god is all about love and forgiveness.
    How can you preach that knowing probably over half the congregation a packing locked and loaded in the pews, fucking ludicrous and displays the utter vacuousness of religion and its adherents, they cannot even live by their hero’s ways when worshipping the fucker which ever way it is sliced that shows they have absolutely zero faith and less then zero belief that their lawd’ is gonna shield his ‘special ones’ from a nasty wasty world,,,…total imbeciles.

  19. Actually this new development may be progress. The “old ways” don’t seem to be working anymore and these southern goobers are now understanding their God doesn’t really protect them from the vagaries of life like they had once hoped for. The “House of God” is filled with emptiness and a silent reply to requests for protection and these churchgoers are coming to terms with a potent belief in forms, but a god that is not omnipotent and doesn’t deliver. Guns are a reassuring material object that can be touched and loved and becomes an omnipresent substitute for the increasingly doubtful existence of the unseen.

  20. Once again, it is embarrassing to be an American. I find this article absurd and depressing at the same time. Absurd because why do people in the presence of their omnipotent, supernatural friend need to protect themselves with guns? Won’t god protect them? Isn’t he supposed to be in that church with them soaking up all the praise? Depressing, because every time an American state passes such nonsense, my entire country takes a hit and becomes a laughing stock all over again. Please! We’re still trying to recover from the Bush regime! I apologize to the civilized world on behalf of the dimwits in Arkansas.

  21. Finally, a state government with brains! The only way to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun. If the good person has a bigger gun then all the more likely he’ll win in good ol’ shoot-out.

    Mad as hatters! And, sadly, innocent folk will continue to die all because a bunch of freaks want to feel important by carrying guns and actually believe the sewage the NRA comes out with. Mad.

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