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Given the shooting yesterday in Pittsburgh, I wondered if any of you had any experience with feedback regarding carrying in your house of worship. I'm not going to ask if you carry there yourself, I probably wouldn't answer that question myself as I don't think it's probably prudent to discuss my personal life on the Internet. However, I wondered if any of you attended somewhere that it had been discussed, prohibited, frowned upon, encouraged, etc.

As I was manning the door at my church this morning, I was considering possible reactions to some nut-job coming in with ill intentions. We have several cops that attend and they are armed. I'm guessing our conservative congregation in Kansas would not be hostile toward random members carrying, but as far as I know, the topic has never officially come up. What about your own experience?
 

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Carry in churches in Texas is common. My church even encourages it. But the preacher has requested that if you do, that it be concealed. For that to be enforceable, a state compliant sign would be required to be posted, which it isn't. Many carry in our congregation.
 

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I live in a rural county. I know there's at least a dozen or more carrying in every church. It is not discouraged by anyone.
 

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Like Smokewagon said, it's a very carry-friendly state here. I went to a church 8 or 9 years ago where I was close to the pastor and he encouraged me to carry, along with anybody else who had a CHL (now LTC). Unless a church has a sign on the door that is a valid sign recognized by the state of Texas, you can carry in churches with no problem.
 
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Yup. Policy has always been if you're legal to carry feel free to do so.
HOWEVER, a year or so ago our insurance company mandated that members of the Security Team NOT be allowed to carry due to potential liability of people in a security role carrying firearms without having received some kind of approved training.
I quit the Security Team and joined the Ushers ministry. No prohibitions were placed on Ushers.
 

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Our church has stated in memorandum form that as long as you are legally licensed to carry its not a problem. If they said no carry at all I'd have to make a decision to carry anyway or seek out a church where perhaps having to defend myself and family from a whacko would not cause them to get bent out of shape.
 

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Our church has no rules or recomendations either way. It's much like the old "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. There are no prohibiting signs and I know several people who very probably do but they call it concealed carry for a reason. Heck, I know that one of the guys puts his pistol in a Zip lock bag and takes it in to the shower with him. Visions of Psycho!!! Do you think that he's going to leave it at home in order to go to church?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Our church has no rules or recomendations either way. It's much like the old "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. There are no prohibiting signs and I know several people who very probably do but they call it concealed carry for a reason. Heck, I know that one of the guys puts his pistol in a Zip lock bag and takes it in to the shower with him. Visions of Psycho!!! Do you think that he's going to leave it at home in order to go to church?
Wow, now that guy is prepared. Was his gun baptized along with him?
 

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I know of someone who carries at his church. In Ohio you cannot carry in a church, even with a CHL, unless a church leader gives you permission. For many years the churches policy was no, unless you were an off duty or retired cop. After a series of church shootings and attendence started going down in part due to their policies, this particular church started allowing CHL holders the ability to carry (concealed only) with the provision that chamber loaded carry was prohibitied. It's either chamber empty or nothing, because the church is deathly afraid someone might drop their gun and it will accidentally go off, etc. Part of the problem was that they supposedly consulted with a "security expert" (which was basically an off duty cop who teaches CC courses) and asked how to guarantee a gun won't go off if it's dropped or the trigger is accidentally pulled? The answer was of course there was no guarentee, that any loaded gun can potentially go off with a negligent owner. The so called "expert" didn't say people should carry chamber empty, he was merely being truthful about how guns work. So this guy who goes to this church carries two guns, (which is allowed) One is a revolver, the other is a semi auto with a loaded magazine inserted for a "backup" or "NY reload". For anything requiring up close and personal the revolver will hopefully allow him to get into a position where he will have the extra hand free and extra half second to chamber a round if needed.

If all this sounds like a lot of trouble to be able to defend yourself you're right but hey, it's better than the alternative. It's a baby step in the right direction for the church, unlike other churches who still won't allow concealed carry at all regardless of events in the news.

I wish Ohio would treat churches like any private business. If a church doesn't want their flock to legally carry they should put a no guns sign on the door instead of hiding behind the current law and not wanting to face the issue of whether or not the members should have the right to at least have a chance of protecting themselves against a mass murderer. I make the proactive choice that I don't shop at businesses that tell me I or members of my family must be a defenseless victim in their store and I won't go to a church that says the same thing. I care too much about the safety of my family members to allow unneccesary risks.
 

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Many churches aren't operating with an excess of funds as it is. The liability insurance associated with organization-sanctioned concealed carry can be a stumbling block.

The church I attend was clear on their policy -- they do not ask anyone, or give permission to anyone, to carry concealed. But they will not interfere with anyone lawfully exercising their Constitutional rights.

I asked one of the pastors what he'd do if there was ever an incident in the worship center, and his answer was that he'd duck. He said he's pretty sure that on any typical Sunday, we've got as much ammunition in the pews as Academy has on the shelves. Yeah, he was stretching it just a little, but after finding out that some of the sweet little old ladies are toting sweet little old .38s, I'm beginning to wonder how much of a stretch he's making.

There are a few points of concern for me -- one is the old guy with Coke-bottle glasses that carries a Judge because he can't see the sights too well.
 

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When I was on the board of trustees at my church we created a policy that we would not post signs, but that open carry would not be permitted. Any usher or staff member is authorized to request that openly carried weapons be concealed or removed. That process is enforceable in Texas. We also had our police department present a class, open to anyone who wished to attend, on how to respond to an active shooter situation.

I know that some members carry every Sunday and as far as I know there have never been any objections. As previously mentioned, we’re fortunate to live in a gun friendly area.
 

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Regarding the Pittsburg incident, it's really so sad people can't worship or go to school or even a movie without some deranged person slaughtering a bunch of folks.
Sad that the mentally ill are going unrecognized and untreated but that's our modern world.
Keep praying any us or our loved ones don't end up wrong place at the wrong time.
 

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There is another benefit to an armed congregation. I've noticed a great improvement in the quality and brevity of the pastor's messages.:D
 

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After the Sutherland Tx shooting the elders and pastor of our little country church asked me to help them with church defense. We created a policy allowing concealed carry permit holders to provide armed defense. There are three of us who have been approved so far. I carry a full size IWB every Sunday, the other carriers cover Wednesdays.
 
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In the days of the Puritans, men were required to attend church with loaded weapons.

They understood the importance of united defense.
 

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This same subject has come up here a number of times. I don't see why there is a question about whether you should be armed in church or not. Church is no different then a movie theater or restaurant or any other place of business that you go into. On top of that why is there a question if you should carry concealed? If you are carrying legally concealed nobody in charge knows if you have a gun or not. Is there a rule you have to go to the head man and say hey I have a gun can I have your permission to have it here. A church rule that you can have a concealed weapon with nothing in the chamber only! Really! If it's concealed nobody knows you have it anyway let alone being able to take your gun and look at it to see if it's got a round in the chamber.

Maybe having church members know that you have a handgun in church make some of you feel like you are an armed guard, a hero protecting the Sheep! Well, they do call it a flock. Another thing, if you have a concealed carry permit then you most likely have already had a course to help you be legal carrying that gun. What kind of a "class" do you have to sit through to get permission to have a concealed carry weapon that nobody knows about in church.

E
A church that does not allow Carry is nothing but another gun-free zone. It is an advertisement for bad guys to come here we have no protection and you can shoot as many people as you like without worrying about getting shot in return. Actually, a church with no weapons is worse than the average day-to-day gun-free zone because with all the hatred bigotry and racially motivated hate it is more of a Target than any movie theater or any other gun-free zone.

How many people on this forum have I seen get all upset when a business post a no-gun sign? When that happens it is a personal affront an attempt to remove one's constitutional rights and and insult on a personal level. The calls for boycotts, I'll never shop there again, I'll take my money where it's appreciated, and any number of other reactions are obvious. However when a church does the exact same thing that is okay we will go to the head man and we will ask permission to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights and our God given right to self-defense.

Don
 
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Yup. Policy has always been if you're legal to carry feel free to do so.
HOWEVER, a year or so ago our insurance company mandated that members of the Security Team NOT be allowed to carry due to potential liability of people in a security role carrying firearms without having received some kind of approved training.
I quit the Security Team and joined the Ushers ministry. No prohibitions were placed on Ushers.
https://www.brotherhoodmutual.com/

Sounds like your church either needs a new insurance provider or you need to eliminate your sanctioned safety team. Your church can have a group of ushers designated to do "safety functions" or some other name of your security team. I got this link from a shooting instructor and looked through here. I didn't realize it at the time, but found out we use Brotherhood for our insurance.
 

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Many churches aren't operating with an excess of funds as it is. The liability insurance associated with organization-sanctioned concealed carry can be a stumbling block.

The church I attend was clear on their policy -- they do not ask anyone, or give permission to anyone, to carry concealed. But they will not interfere with anyone lawfully exercising their Constitutional rights.

I asked one of the pastors what he'd do if there was ever an incident in the worship center, and his answer was that he'd duck. He said he's pretty sure that on any typical Sunday, we've got as much ammunition in the pews as Academy has on the shelves. Yeah, he was stretching it just a little, but after finding out that some of the sweet little old ladies are toting sweet little old .38s, I'm beginning to wonder how much of a stretch he's making.

There are a few points of concern for me -- one is the old guy with Coke-bottle glasses that carries a Judge because he can't see the sights too well.
We are in a similar situation. We probably have a dozen or so that carry. One sergeant of the State Police. Some of had some training, that I have introduced them too. Some we don't know. But I gave my pastor my TCP after we had a potential for an issue 2 Christmases ago. Our safety plan we are working on, is going to include a small group that we know have a certain level of training be a part of the threat mitigation. Everyone else that carries is responsible for getting to safety, unless the shooter happens to be right next to you. We don't want 10 people shooting across the sanctuary at the same time.

The best part is, I payed for my pastor to take a day long handgun essentials class from the instructor I've trained with for the last couple of years. It was my gift for 'Pastor Appreciation Month'. :) That class is in 2 weeks, and I am taking at least 3 people from church.possibly a 4th.
 
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