Saturday, May 05, 2018

Some Missouri Clergy Wants State to Enforce their Views

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, by doing nothing, which is the default position in the United States.  Or it may actively interfere by making a law and/or enforcing it.

According to, 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 to be armed, 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
“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 and link are included.

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Anonymous said...

I would not attend a church that would prevent me from protecting my self and family at all times The ministers must be making pile off of funerals.

ExpatNJ said...

ANY religion, religious organization, or so-called 'church' that demands The State enforce laws on its behalf is more than a Super Deceiver. It is an extreme danger to Freedom-loving people everywhere.

What happens when Muslims demand Sharia Law? Jews demand Eruv's and Noahide Laws? Catholics demand Inquisitional Cannon Law? Unfortunately, all these are already happening in certain parts of the USA. Yet, the United States is a Constitutional Republic and a Democracy - NOT a Theocracy.

I believe in Property Rights; these religions and groups are entitled to regulate people - and their actions - who come onto their OWN property. as they see fit.

But, Anonymous' is spot-on in this case. Any so-called 'church' that would disarm me is my enemy, not my friend, and no friend of Christ. If my gun is not welcome there, then neither am I. I don't need them, and they certainly don't want me.

One of Many said...

Had that discussion with an anti gun control freak pastor when asked me if I carried and then he told me not to carry any more.
Informed him that he was just the hired help just like the office sectary, that he had no such authority..
Told him that under no uncertain terms if my gun was not welcome then neither was I, nor was my family..
informed him that at least 20 other carried in church and once I told them what his bran fart was they would walk too, asked him if he was ready to chase out 60-100 people from his already dwindling congregation?

Asked him precisely what was he going to do when evil entered and started murdering our congregation, asked him if he was going to scream like a little girl, throw his bible at them and run out the back door by the pulpit?

left him stuttering so badly he could not get out a single word....