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Concealed Weapons at Church

Should we allow our security team to carry guns?

Question:
I am the Chief of Security for our church. Currently, in our Safety and Security Policy Manual, we have a firearms policy that specifically states that security team members are not authorized to carry a firearm unless they are a sworn police officer, reserve officer, or other law enforcement officer, such as working for the Department of Defense or Homeland Security.

We are considering revising this policy to possibly include allowing those members who have valid concealed carry permits to bring a firearm to church. They would be required to fulfill various field training hours, as well as other safety and training precautions. What are the pro and cons of implementing this revised policy?

Answer:
The question you ask is being raised more frequently in churches across America. Before you revise your policy, watch my video that addresses this same question—"Armed Vigilantes and Church Security." Additionally, I evaluate various security measures churches can take in an in-depth Feature Report titled, "Does Your Church Need a Security Guard?"

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Posted:
March 24, 2010

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Displaying 1–3 of 6 comments

Mark Adams

August 22, 2013  11:13am

I am the pastor of a small church (normal Sunday morning worship service attendance between 45-60) in a very rural area (our county has a population of less than 3,000). Our town does not even have its own policeman. The nearest in-county law enforcement is headquartered about 18 miles from here. As a result you cannot count on a response time of less than 15 minutes and it may be 30 minutes or more. There may be law enforcement available that would be closer, but it would be from another county and I do not know the technicalities for them to cross the county line. Much of the time I carry a handgun. I am a concealed carry permit holder. The statement to the effect "when seconds count the police are only minutes away" does not even hold up out here. To some degree the citizens of our town has to serve as its own law enforcement in a crisis situation until official law enforcement can arrive.

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kenny h.

February 14, 2013  7:20am

I'm a current Police Chief and I recommend all churches have have at least a few individuals that are armed if not the entire security staff ,But only once they have completed a training course to understand and be proficiant in the use of firearms and then continue to train on a regular basis ,The Reason is the church is at risk on several levels these days Such as (Addicition recovery groups , hard luck homeless visitors , Angry spouses from churhces having support groups ,in other words any active church )

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Church Security Institute

November 09, 2012  10:28am

The views of Terry and Bob are common and are typical of those who are opposed to or who support carrying a firearm, and both have their views but neither are necessarily right for all use. California Security is correct in having security experts contribute to a discussion and training but the inclusion of the church counsel or attorneys is also important as they have to be sure they have the proper insurance coverages and a policy of who can and who should not do certain acts there. No single policy or view is correct for all situations and therefore each church needs to discuss this. What is clear is that there needs to be a written Plan, Teams to implement it and both training and practice to be sure that everyone is on the same page and know what to do and how to act/react.

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