TX: Attorney General Ken Paxton: Guns in Churches Part of Solution

By Dean Weingarten

Attorney General Ken Paxton: Guns in Churches Part of Solution

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has stated the obvious about the mass murder at the First Baptist church in Sutherland, Texas.

People who gather together will have to consider polices to defend against these mass killers. Paxton suggested that Texas consider carrying weapons to protect themselves.

From foxnews.com:

Paxton added that churches, places of business and schools should have policies addressing the possibility of a shooter so they can protect their communities.

“I wish some law would fix all of this,” he said.

“All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry,” he explained. “And so … there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people.”

Attorney General Paxton was not the first public official to mention the obvious: Armed citizens are a defense against mass murder.  After the Nairobi Westgate massacre in September of 2013, the Interpol Secretary General, Ronald Noble, said that we had a choice: either create intense levels of fortress like security for public places, or consider having an armed citizenry.

From abcnews.go.com:

Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said today the U.S. and the rest of the democratic world is at a security crossroads in the wake of last month’s deadly al-Shabab attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya – and suggested an answer could be in arming civilians.

In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Noble said there are really only two choices for protecting open societies from attacks like the one on Westgate mall where so-called “soft targets” are hit: either create secure perimeters around the locations or allow civilians to carry their own guns to protect themselves.

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem,” Noble said. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry; you can see the reason for that. Another is to say the enclaves are so secure that in order to get into the soft target you’re going to have to pass through extraordinary security.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton has “skin in the game”. He attends a Baptist Church. He has four daughters. He has been in Texas for many years.

From texasattorneygeneral.gov:

Attorney General Paxton graduated from Baylor University, where he served as student body president, earning a B.A. in psychology and an M.B.A. After receiving a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, he worked as an attorney at Strasburger & Price, LLP, in-house counsel for J.C. Penney Company, and headed up his own law firm for 14 years in McKinney.

First elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2002, Attorney General Paxton represented House District 70 for 10 years, one of the fastest-growing regions in the state. In 2012, he was elected to the Texas state Senate, representing Senate District 8 in Collin and Dallas counties.

He met his wife Angela, a guidance counselor at Legacy Christian Academy in Frisco, while they were students at Baylor. The Paxtons have four children: Tucker, Abby, Mattie, and Katie. They are members of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.

Arming church attendees is not a new solution, but a well used tactic. Church attendees were required by law to come armed in colonial America.

From Colonial Firearm Regulation(pdf):

A. Guns in Church

The statute that most clearly states the intent of “bring your guns to church” laws is a 1643 Connecticut order, “To prevent or withstand such sudden assaults as may be made by Indeans upon the Sabboth or lecture dayes, It is Ordered, that one person in every several howse wherein is any souldear or souldears, shall bring a musket, pystoll or some peece, with powder and shott to e[a]ch meeting….”Connecticut found within a month that, “Whereas it is obsearved that the late Order for on[e] in a Family to bring his Arms to the meeting house every Sabboth and lecture day, hath not bine attended by divers persons” there was now a fine for failing to do so.

The legal requirement to come to church armed varied with the threat level. The reference cites statutes from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Plymouth, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Several Church attacks have been cut short by armed defenders. The best known cases are the New Life Church case in Colorado Springs in 2007, the Destiny Christian Center shooting in 2012, and the Antioch, Tennessee shooting earlier this year.

I was at church, part of our security detail, with a Glock on my hip, when the Texas baptist church shooting occurred. I did not hear of it until hours later. We do not know if anyone in the church in Sutherland, Texas, was armed.

It was another Christian, Stephen Wileford, 55,  from another church, that engaged in a gunfight with the mass killer and stopped the killing. Wileford enlisted another citizen, Johnnie Langendorff as a driver. They chased the mass killer on the freeway, informed the police, and kept the killer under gunpoint until the police arrived, minutes later.

An eyewitness says Wileford stopped the killing.

From wcnc.com:

Jordan said his neighbor, who he described as a man who would do anything for anyone, came out with a gun then shot the suspect while taking cover behind a car.

“If it wasn't for him, the guy wouldn't have stopped,” Jordan explained to KENS 5. He explained that his neighbor also shot through the suspect's window as he drove off.

It may be weeks before we obtain detailed evidence as to what happened inside the church, whether anyone resisted, or was armed. There are survivors.  The stories will come out, in time.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Ansel HazenGarryowenJeffersonianWild BillJay Eimer Recent comment authors
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Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen

End all gun free zones NOW!


Last I heard, Texas state law actually prohibits the thing the Texas state attorney general is recommending – specifically, carry in any church, licensed or not.

And how does he feel about Constitutional Carry?

Jay Eimer
Jay Eimer

Jeffersonian: Texas law says it’s up to the church (or its parent denomination/admin). Legal per state law but subject to 30.06 (no concealed carry) and/or 30.07 (no open carry) signage.

Also please note that some denominations are aggressively pacifist (and some even blatantly anti-gun) while others are at the other end of the spectrum – either having formal armed security teams, allowing and even encouraging concealed carry, or both.


Okay, my information is from a recent email alert from the Virginia Citizens Defense League:



(b) A license holder commits an offense if the license holder intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries a handgun under the authority of Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code, regardless of whether the handgun is concealed or carried in a shoulder or belt holster, on or about the license holder’s person:

(6) on the premises of a church, synagogue, or other established place of religious worship.”

Which seems pretty cut-and-dried, but I’m seeing conflicting reports now.


For those that believe this cannot happen to them are clueless. I thought the same thing, until it did happen to me. Luckily for me I was not armed and the gun toting robber did not shoot me, but came close twice. I now carry a weapon and if this happens again, he will go out horizontal, not vertical like the way they came in. BTW, I carry in church.


Because no one believes that this could ever happen to them, until it does; we advised our local parish priest to meet with the Police Chief to either have a uniformed Officer at every Mass, or form an armed civilian task force to be present at all Masses.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill

@Garryowen, You realize, of course, that no church is entitled to police protection. Just as no individual is entitled to police protection.


WB, I’m not sure if I agree that ‘..no church is entitled’ to police protection’ Is a school entitled? How many times in suburban areas will the local PD do traffic control duty so one Mass can get out, as the people going to the next one can get in. These cops do not necessarily have to be assigned INSIDE the church, but being outside on traffic duty could be enough of a deterrent. I do agree that “..no individual is entitled…. but a church is a public gather place, similar to a mall, and again, if they were outside… Read more »

Jim Macklin
Jim Macklin

Because life is dangerous, armed citizens should be armed at all times to preserve life and liberty. Therefore the right of the people t keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Churches were designed to be defensible fortresses to protect the flock. Today churches are built to be friendly and affordable. The two purposes are not mutually exclusive.
At church listen to the preacher and watch the doors.