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Responding to Gun Violence Concerns at Churches

Church shootings remain rare, but policies and planning are still necessities.

Responding to Gun Violence Concerns at Churches

The 2017 shootings at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which left 26 dead and several others injured, have once again focused attention on church safety, with many church leaders asking what steps they should implement to protect their congregations. Most churches in America are safe places. While incidents of shootings on church property are shocking, they are rare. But "open access" policies of most churches make them susceptible to violent acts. While such acts cannot be completely prevented, there are steps church leaders can take to reduce the risk. Let's review some of them.

Four possible options

Here are four possible response options that leaders of churches of all sizes and settings should consider:

1. Off-duty officers. The optimal response to the threat of an armed assailant on church property is to have two or more uniformed off-duty law enforcement ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • February 20, 2018

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