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Concealed Weapon Law and Churches

Churches may prohibit guns in church.


Key point. State laws prohibiting holders of concealed weapons permits from carrying weapons on church property do not necessarily violate the First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom or the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Does a state law prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons in a church violate the constitutional rights of church members to bear arms and practice their religion? A federal appeals court said no. In 2010, the State of Georgia amended its concealed weapons law to make it a misdemeanor offense for a person with a concealed weapons permit to carry a concealed weapon "in a place of worship." Several plaintiffs, including a church and its pastor, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this law.

First Amendment guaranty of religious freedom

The plaintiffs claimed that the statute violated their First Amendment right to freely exercise their religion ...

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  • November 1, 2012