In the wake of the growing number of attacks on gun free zones around the country, the Arkansas legislature proposed a bill to allow conceal carry weapon in churches. The measure allows for individual churches to establish their own policies on conceal carry and who would be armed if allowed.
The measure passed the state Senate and then the House and was just signed into law by Gov. Mike Beebe.
Some pastor’s objected to the law, stating that they believe churches should be sanctuaries from violence. Other pastors and church leaders were in favor of the law claiming that gun free zones including churches are often the targets of violence and that police cannot respond fast enough to stop an attacker from carrying out their rampage. They believe it is necessary for designated church members to obtain conceal carry permits, be properly trained and carry a weapon at all church functions to help insure the safety of the congregants.
Since the new law allows churches to establish their own rules, those that oppose being protected by armed members do not have to allow for it. In fact, the law states that conceal carry weapons are only allowed at those churches that approve it. Those churches will be required by the new law to post signs telling visitors that they are protected by conceal carry weapons. That also means that under the new law, any church without a sign is telling everyone that they are a gun free zone.
Considering what happened in Colorado Springs several years ago, when an armed shooter entered a church with several hundred people inside. That church had designated security who had conceal carry permits and were armed during services. One of the armed security was a former police officer and she successfully shot the intruder and prevented any further injuries or loss of life.
It’s a proven fact that armed security helps prevent some attacks and stops others from being worse than they are. It’s also a proven fact that many of the violent gun attacks of late have taken place in places that are known to be gun free zones or post signs to that affect.
So let me ask you a question: Would you feel safer worshipping in a church that had armed security and signs posted outside to that affect or in a church that is gun free and whose lack of a sign telecasts that to any would be trouble maker?