Some Missouri Clergy Want State to Enforce their View on Church Carry

Some Missouri Clergy Want State to Enforce their View on Church Carry
Some Missouri Clergy Want State to Enforce their View on Church Carry

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Missouri is one of nine states where the government generally prohibits people from carrying firearms in church. As in any question, the government may be neutral, which is the default position in the United States, or it may actively interfere. 

According to concealedcarry.com, there are two states that ban concealed carry in churches, Nebraska and Louisiana. Nebraska allows a church to authorize an armed security team if the team members have carry permits and if written notice is given to church members.  Louisiana law is similar, but requires an extra eight hours of training every year. Seven states and D.C. require the permission of a church leader to conceal carry firearms in church. 41 states treat carry in churches the same as any other private property. In Missouri, HB 1936 would remove the current state requirement.

Wyoming recently reformed its law to remove state government from the question.

In the early colonies, people were sometimes required to be armed at church. In “Origins and Development of the Second Amendment“, I found a reference to colonial requirements to carry guns in church from the Virginia laws of arms bearing.

All men that are fitting to bear arms, shall bring their pieces to the church…

The law dated to 1631.  David Hardy found it in the 1823 work by William Henning, “The Statutes at large, being a collection of all the laws of Virginia, Vol. 1 at 127, 173-174.”

Requiring people to be armed at church, or requiring them to obtain permission from religious leaders, appears to violate the First Amendment's protection of free exercise of religion, as well as the Second Amendment's protection of the right to keep and bear arms.

In Missouri, some religious leaders want the government to enforce their prohibitions for them.  From dailytribune.com:

“Pastors, rabbis and religious leaders should not be compelled by the government to place signage in our sacred places prohibiting activity we may not want to allow on our own private property,” said Carlson, whose archdiocese includes nearly 500,000 Roman Catholics.

During a question-and-answer session a few minutes later, Carlson — whose fellow Missouri Catholic bishops issued a joint statement condemning the bill and gun violence in general last week — warned of a potential legal battle: “We (Catholics) would not be above lawsuits or other actions to prevent the law from going into effect.”

Jered Taylor, a Republican Missouri House member from Nixa who is sponsoring the bill, said he “completely disagrees” with the archbishop’s assessment.

“The last thing I want to do is infringe on individuals’ rights,” he said in an interview, noting there are churches that support his proposal. “If they don’t want (concealed guns on their property), all they have to do is post a sign just like any private property. Allowing the church to decide will not infringe on their religious liberty rights.”

The desire to keep arms out of churches is not universal. Many churches actively encourage attendees to be armed.

The state does not have a blanket prohibition against speaking out against government policies in sermons.  The state does not require people to obtain permission from religious leaders before speaking on church property.

Taking no action is neutral. Requiring an action is not neutral. It is taking sides.

Refusing to make church policy for the churches that wish to ban the exercise of Second Amendment rights on their property is not infringing on Churches free exercise of religion. It is restoring it.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean WeingartenDean 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.

  • 13 thoughts on “Some Missouri Clergy Want State to Enforce their View on Church Carry

    1. With this question, your interviewer is ask you to sell him on you and your status as the best person for the position

    2. May I suggest anyone who has a dog in this fight read (it’s a short read) “The Case for Biblical Self-Defense” by Jonathan Petersen.
      Like those who criticize the Bible and have never read it, those who imply that defending oneself (or others) is breaking the 5th Commandment I strongly suggest they read this booklet. BTW, the 5th Commandment translated in Hebrew is “You should not take innocent blood (murder).”

    3. I pity the fool that tries to rob our church during services. There are a number of us that carry and I think we would do what we had to do to stop a perp. Another nice part of this is that we are spread out over the sanctuary so it would be impossible to get a group shot. I certainly hope there is never a need to find out what would happen.

    4. Concealed carry in churches shoud be a matter left to that church. Unless of course there is only a separation of church and state when dumb ass liberals want to do something.

      1. Paying a tax is what ensures freedom of speech? Boy, I see where you want to go! (Unfortunately, the US Government has already been there, and you love it!) Ain’t tyranny wonderful?

        1. @Bill, No, no, you have MB all wrong. Had you read what he writes, you could not come to the conclusion that you have come to. He did not write that “Paying a tax ensures freedom of speech.” You wrote that and then came to a conclusion about him.
          Be sure of your target and what is beyond!

    5. I remember the scene from The Patriot, where the Tory Militia locked the unarmed people in the church, then fired it;killing everyone locked inside. Then, there was Waco and the Mt. Carmel Church.

    6. I suppose I can understand why Catholic priests wouldn’t want anyone carrying a weapon in their churches; Why take a chance one of the many that were molested might decide to get some pay back!

      1. any who had been molested adn want to avenge their abuse would be wise enough to NOT settle the score at church where there would be hundreds of witnesses. No, he’d wait and watch and learn the perp’s schedule, and meet him quietly in some isolated area, where there would not likely be any witnesses. Logic fail. no point scored.

      2. This does not make logical sense. So if there was someone who was abused by a priest who wanted to exact revenge, are you saying that since no weapons are allowed on the premises this would keep that person from bringing a weapon in and attempting to do harm to said priest? We constantly see shooting incidents in gun free zones. Having a no-gun rule in place only keeps those who abide by the rule from bringing their guns in–how is this going to stop a criminal? Murder is already a high crime that carries the penalty of capital punishment. A person willing to commit this level of crime is probably not going to be deterred by a no-guns policy..
        We have and always will conceal carry in church, just like anywhere else we go..

    7. Pastor and candidate in Pa. burns AR – 15 rifle in campaign ad. —- Then disabled comments on his You Tube page.

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