guns in church?


May 25, 2005, 01:27 PM
i know this could be ugly, but i love throwing gas on a fire. please don't make this a theological discussion, though.
my ex thought i was out of line for bringing my pistol to church. i wonder if any of you who attend religious services carry while in the building.

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May 25, 2005, 01:32 PM
I have been carrying for about 7 years and Church is no different than McDonalds (yes I said McDonalds) or the local 5 and dime.

As a matter of fact, there are three or four men that I know personally that I attend church with who are shooters and at least one of them is also always armed-IN THE CHURCH BUILDING or ELSEWHERE.

May 25, 2005, 01:55 PM
Well, it is illegal in Texas for CHL holders, but there are a couple representatives trying to change that.

May 25, 2005, 01:56 PM
There was a posting on this or another forum listing a good number of crimes that have been commited in church. From shooting the Pope to raping nuns to stealing the gold chalice etc criminals don't have any respect for the church.

May 25, 2005, 02:00 PM
Well, it is illegal in Texas for CHL holders, but there are a couple representatives trying to change that. They changed this a couple of years ago, it's no longer illegal unless proper notice is given. (A PC30.06 sign constitutes notice.)

May 25, 2005, 02:01 PM
God helps those who help themselves. Replace 'help' with 'protect'.

If you carry, why should church be any different?

May 25, 2005, 02:02 PM
Although I thinks its a bit paranoid, at least for my neck of the woods, I don't have any problem with legal, discreet carry in a Church, or anywhere else for that matter.

May 25, 2005, 02:08 PM
It used to be a law in MA that you had to bring a rifle to church:

May 25, 2005, 02:09 PM
Every Sunday :) Don't leave home without it! :D

May 25, 2005, 02:10 PM
To me, if it is wrong to carry in church, it is wrong to carry outside of church. I don't believe either is wrong.

Then again, my personal faith doesn't recognize "holy ground" or that a church building is anything but a building. If I were concerned with sacred space defined by walls and alters then I might think twice, but ultimately I think I'd be okay with it even then.

I've never been able to understand arguments against carrying a gun in church. I've had people tell me that it is disrespectful, but I can't figure out why. My family has had friends who were murdered in their church, so maybe that influences my ideas on the subject a bit.

AZ Heat
May 25, 2005, 02:14 PM
I carry here in AZ. When I'm at church, my family is sitting next to me. I got my CCW to take care and protect myself and my family, wherever I go. The times I haven't carried to church, I feel vulnerable and a little bit like I'm not fully dressed... if you know what I mean.

I will say this however... if the leaders of my church came out and said not to, I wouldn't. But that's another subject. Thank goodness they haven't said anything, regarding AZ anyways.

May 25, 2005, 02:20 PM
its just another building...

May 25, 2005, 02:30 PM
I will say this however... if the leaders of my church came out and said not to, I wouldn't.
Out of curiosity ... why not? Does your faith state that the earthly leadership of your organization is infallible on such matters? Or is it a politeness thing?

May 25, 2005, 02:40 PM
I carry in church. As others have said crimes happen in the cloisters too.

My wife fully supports this too.

May 25, 2005, 02:44 PM
The Lord works in mysterious ways...


May 25, 2005, 02:44 PM
If God told us not to carry, then one would listen. Leaders of the church are just people too and if they said this, they would be wrong.

That's why we have a lot of different churchs and religions.

May 25, 2005, 02:52 PM
I tend to make it a practice of carrying wherever I go. The only thing that'll really deter me from that are metal detectors/LEO security (courthouse, airport, federal building, etc).

One of my friends who is a minister at our church was a member of the Texas church that was the site of a mass public shooting several years back. I only mention it to illustrate the point that EVERYWHERE is a place prone to violent encounters.

Remember the first rule of gunfighting: have a gun.

May 25, 2005, 02:52 PM
Three important words on this one: Wedgewood Baptist Church (Ft. Worth, Texas, 9/17/99)

Ever since that happened, a couple miles from where I lived in Rockwall, I have "religiously" carried my Kimber to every church service I go to (at least while I am in the States). Its the old rule: where the BG's know there is liable to be no resistence, there will be the first strike.

I am currently in Stuttgart, Germany, and on 4/4/2005 ago we had a guy come into a local church with a Samuri sword! "Only" one guy was killed (as compared with seven in Ft. Worth) and three injured. However, if just one responsible citizen carried enough to carry some protection (might I say, perhaps, regardless of the laws!) that could have been easily prevented. In reflection on the German perspective on personal responsibility, its insightful to notice that the man wasn't subdued until the police got there - noone made any attempt at helping (I guess they just figured that was a job for the police.) :fire:

From a religious perspective, I can find absolutely nothing wrong with carrying in church. I have been studying the Bible and Theology for the past eight years, and from a Christian perspective I would say there is much greater wrong being done by people who refuse to act on the God-given responsibility to care for those placed under their protection (mothers, children, wives, etc). I don't care how you "feel" - the moment you marry, have children, etc., you accept the responsibility of caring for their well-being, whether its putting foot in their mouth, or protecting them against enemies foreign or domestic. This responsibility doesn't become derelict the moment you step into a building with a steeple on top. That isn't a "governmental" job - that's a divine mandate. I know you asked not to get "theological", but I confess my greatest defense for carrying in church is precisely theological.

There are other things which may need to be considered, depending on where you live or what you believe (legality, authority of churchleaders, etc), but that is the starting point for my CC actions in church.



May 25, 2005, 03:00 PM
Definitely will as soon as my CHL gets here. Always armed during services in some fashion already. Gatherings of my faith are sometimes targeted by neo-nazis and other groups. IMO, if I carry on the street, it would be silly not to carry during services.

May 25, 2005, 03:08 PM
Carry anywhere that it's legal too.

The McDonalds analogy is a good one. At the time it had become kind of fashionable for cops to not carry off duty, saying "I'm not going to get involved." Those of us who always carried were chided frequently about being "paranoid." My answer was always: "I used to be paranoid. Now that I have this gun on, I no longer am."

McDonalds changed a lot of cops minds. It was pretty easy to imagine oneself, sitting there with your kids when Huberty came in, and not having the gun you were allowed to carry.......

May 25, 2005, 03:09 PM
there are several dimensions to this question

is it wrong? no

is it warranted? yes, as has been pointed out above, criminals do bad things in churches too.

is it somehow against your religion? not mine nor the vast majority of people I attend church with, but...

there are some people who would be offended by it, if they found out.

concealed means concealed, as they say, but if the gun is discovered in the grocery store, I don't care. it's a mild inconvenience. if the gun is discovered in church (which is far more likely, with all the grandmothers hugging everyone), then it's a different story.

for many christians, not offending people and having good relationships is more important than getting robbed or shot.

for me, it's just two risks that have to be weighed, and most of the time, i leave it in the car.

AZ Heat
May 25, 2005, 03:10 PM
Out of curiosity ... why not? Does your faith state that the earthly leadership of your organization is infallible on such matters? Or is it a politeness thing? That is strictly a religious/politeness thing.

May 25, 2005, 03:11 PM
If not for the "theological" aspect, how is carry in church any different from any carry in any other building?

I don't believe that God has a problem with carry, in or out of church.

May 25, 2005, 03:16 PM
Always........the one issue is the "huggars"in the crowd...once you recognize them,always hug first and go low so they have to go high......
if I went to a church that forbid ccw,I'd find another church.....

May 25, 2005, 03:29 PM
I used to have qualms about carrying in church until I did some research and thought things over. Philosophically, if one believes a gun is just a tool and no more inherently evil than a hammer, then there's nothing evil about bringing a gun into church. Historically, Jesus at least tolerated weapons, given that at least one of His disciples carried a sword (Matthew 26:51). Theologically, not carrying a gun because it would be disrespectful of God's protection could be considered tempting God, akin to standing in front of a train and trusting in God to stop it. Doctrine varies from church to church, so I can only speak for Catholicism: Evangelium Vitae, a papal encyclical by the late Pope John Paul II, examines the issue of lethal force in self-defense and finds that in situations where one has no choice between permitting violence to be visited on an innocent person and reacting violently to the attacker, it is not a sin to do the latter. When I get the chance, I'm going to get my carry guns blessed.

Regarding the issue some have brought up about their church objecting to carried weapons on the premises, if a priest asked me not to carry on his parish's church grounds, I would comply. It's just an issue of respect.

May 25, 2005, 04:02 PM
I've had someone "touch" my weapon in church two times.

Once was an aunt who gave me a hug. Her eyes kinda' got big, but it was a sign of "What's that?" not recognition. I don't think she had a clue what it was. It was never spoken of in any case.

The other instance was the case of another male member approaching from behind the weak side (blind side) and reaching out with his hand to tell me of his presence in a greeting. (I think I may not be describing this well, because it was NOT anything wierd). His hand made contact on my strong side, under my arm (I was shaking another individual's hand). This put his hand on the top of my Kimber (carried in a tuckable IWB, no jacket). There was absolutely no reaction at all.

I think your reaction can make a big difference in how they interpret what they think they felt. In the first case, I didn't react at all, so my aunt thought there must be nothing out of the ordinary. In the second case neither of us reacted, so it would not seem there was anything to react to.

May 25, 2005, 04:51 PM
i understand. it's probably 80/20 where i go, where 80% if they touched the ccw would want to know what kind it is, and if i liked it, and how it shot. the other 20% would give me a "i can't believe you brought a gun in here" look. they wouldn't say anything to me about it, but they'd sure gossip to others.

May 25, 2005, 05:03 PM
I carry, in Church, in Texas, where it is legal. The Lord expects the strong to protect the weak and the defenseless.

May 25, 2005, 05:47 PM
My church came out against carrying in church buildings. While I disagree with their decision, I choose to belong and thus must submit to their rules. If I choose not to follow their rules, I must of good conscience separate myself from them. You can't have it both ways. I chose to submit. You might have chosen differently.

CaCrusin :cool:

May 25, 2005, 06:27 PM
I often sit behind a uniformed and armed police officer in church on Sundays. No one makes a deal of it and I feel they shouldn't for anyone in civilian clothes either.

May 25, 2005, 07:30 PM
For a long time, I did not carry in church-just didn't feel comfortable with it. That changed last spring when I got a call from the local Child Protective Services office. Seems that a now-former member of our church was discovered to be a pedophile, and that he had expressed a sexual interest in my then 9-year old daughter :fire: . Needless to say,.....

May 25, 2005, 08:09 PM
At my home church, the members who are LEO carry. My pastor prefers that they do.

At my college church, the pastor has armed security (he's fairly well known).

I can't legally carry (under 21). If I could, I would in church. A church is the people, not the building.

2nd Amendment
May 25, 2005, 08:32 PM
Something I had not thought of in years... When I first got my permit I carried everywhere at all times. Including all church functions. I want to say this was '84 but I might be a bit off there one way or the other. Regardless, back then I was the only person I knew with a permit, period. Not sure what the numbers were for Indiana's Shall Issue back then but there couldn't have been many of us.

Anyway the first time I got "made", by my dad no less, was at a church get-together of some kind and the feces hit the wind machine. People just didn't seem to know what to make of it at the time. I continued to carry anyway and they tolerated it. 20'ish years later I rarely carry(there's one at each office and plenty at home though last month's experience should have broke me of this bad habit) but everyone at church, still the same preacher and all, do. :) Not sure if I started a trend or not but now that I think of it it is kinda funny.

May 25, 2005, 08:54 PM
I have carried in church for many, many years. Bad things can happen to good people anyplace - and church is no exception to that. I once had a parish priest who had been a missionary in China when Communism was emerging and was making it both hard and dangerous for Catholic priests. He took to carrying a 1911 for personal protection and, even when he came back to the U.S., kept the habit.

When he officiated at our wedding he was "packin heat" and I knew it. That was 45 years ago and my wife and I are still married. As far as packing in church is concerned anything said about it is a non sequitur. Movin' on ;)

May 25, 2005, 10:02 PM
At Sunshine Baptist Church in Newport, NH.

G17 24/7.

May 25, 2005, 10:15 PM
You think Churches are exempt from fanatics or terrorists. A couple friends that know I carry think I'm crazy for carrying in church. It's no different than any other place. In fact, I bet the Middle Eastern nut jobs would feel very comfortable targeting my "church of infidels" since there are probably around 500+ people in each service.

May 25, 2005, 10:51 PM
Absolutely. My responsibility to protect my family is no less at church than elsewhere.

May 25, 2005, 10:55 PM
Vestments, albs, etc. make for wonderful concealment.


May 25, 2005, 11:56 PM
Thanks Preacherman. The Cardinal will be coming next week and what will I be thinking about?

Out of curiosity ... why not? Does your faith state that the earthly leadership of your organization is infallible on such matters? Or is it a politeness thing?

Just a friendly reminder, carrying on private property is subject to the approval of the property owner. If you are told no carry and you do, you are tresspassing and can be charged. Aside from that, it's just bad manners.

May 26, 2005, 12:32 AM
Rebar, in response to the MA law requiring all men to bring a rifle to church on Sundays, I decided to add a just-recently-repealed law to their list for PA.

Here's what I e-mailed to them.

Not necessarily a stupid law, as I believe "an armed society is a polite society," but here you go. This law was repealed just a few years ago:

All law-abiding, mentally- and physically-capable residents, over the age of 21 years, are required to own and maintain a firearm in their place of residence.

But, back to topic:

This is a repeat (at least to me) of a thread either here on THR or on TFL. My job usually requires me to work on Sundays, therefore making me unavailble to attend Sunday Services. However, when I can and do attend, I carry. I do so discreetly, so as not to offend others, but I've read and heard too many churches being attacked during mass/services. I'm also of the crowd who feels "the church is the people, not the building," and that "we are all our Brothers' Keeper."

As for the "hugging" thing, unless it's a family member or very close friend (all of which know I carry anyways), I always reach for the low side, requiring them to go high. As for my church, it's a handshake rather than a hug.

Just my $.02


May 26, 2005, 08:37 AM

Jesus Christ himself did not object to OPEN carry, in His very presence.

I've posted this before, but you remember the Agony in the Garden?
The arrest at Gethsemane? Kephas (Peter) put up a fight,
and severed the ear of Maalkhos, a member of the arresting party,
using a short sword called a kereb (chereb), and what that shows is that

1. Peter HAD a weapon to draw
2. The Lord did not object to Peter's keeping and bearing of a weapon

Of course a lot is made of Jesus' admonition to Peter at Gethsemane
"Those who live by the sword...", but really...
the point was that Peter had chosen to trust his weapon instead of the Lord, physically present before him.
Peter was living by the sword, rather than by Christ --denying Christ's power, authority,
and above all Christ's mission (which granted, wasn't yet clear to the chief Apostle)--
by presuming to defend Christ with mere steel.

Jesus didn't need Peter's steel for His own protection.
That Jesus didn't object to Peter's steel prior, however suggests said steel was deemd useful
for the protection of others: the meek and innocent.

Those who would visit violent evil upon us
often do not respect holy sanctuary, no?


May 26, 2005, 10:20 AM
I (like Preacherman) am a member of the clergy, and in MO, carry in church requires consent of someone with responsibility for the worship services (generally, the minister). I have given consent to one person (the only one who asked) to carry in church. Have I carried in church? No. Why? My Milt Sparks holster just arrived this week, and I haven't had the opportunity to do so yet. I might take a couple weeks to get used to it before bringing my 1911 to worship. Unfortunately, we don't wear vestments and the like (heck, I could hide a 12 gauge under that), but a full suit can go a long way to hiding a good piece.

To tell the truth, there are a few members of the church I wish would carry; they have the training and mindset to be good protectors of the body. However, for legal liability reasons I am loathe to suggest that they do so. If they asked, though, I might just recommend it.

Theologically, there is NO Biblical prohibition. It requires too many Scriptual calisthenics in order to pull it off; what we have here is a pure matter of opinion.

May 26, 2005, 10:38 AM
I know we are not supposed to get religious, but this thread is sort of broken the barrier so I'll add this.

The reference to Matthew 26:51 highlites the fact that people carried weapons in Jesus a sword was more than just a defensive tool (against predators 2 & 4 legged), but it was also used, I imagine, to cut wood for fires, building things and whatever other purpose the user had need. But wanting to protect oneself was a prime reason for having a sword.

Anyways, "CONCEALED" is the key here. Just don't advertise and no one will be the wiser...Just you and your god.


May 26, 2005, 11:09 AM
Well, it is illegal in Texas for CHL holders, but there are a couple representatives trying to change that.

you have GOT to be kidding!

May 26, 2005, 03:06 PM
Pastor of our church, (retired Marine, and a friend for the last 26 years) emailed last night asking for advice on what kind of gun to get. He hasn't shot much since retirement and when he has it's been with me. We'll probably hit the desert and run through the Glocks, HKs, Kimbers, Colts until he finds what he likes, (which will be a 1911 style if I can twist his arm enough) :D A bunch of us carry at church and are the "unofficial" security. Badges? we don't need no stinkin badges...... ;) (unlike the ushers)

May 26, 2005, 03:16 PM
CaCrusin, it does not make logical sense that you have to submit to his rules unless you are legally compelled to do so. His rules are wishes. He holds no moral authority over your rights. Furthermore, his "rules" are arbitrary and dumb.

If he had a "rule" that you had to be naked, would you follow it? Don't dignify his stupid wishes with compliance.

Standing Wolf
May 26, 2005, 03:20 PM
If I weren't a lifelong atheist, I'd carry in church: my life is worth defending wherever I am.

May 26, 2005, 03:27 PM
Being somewhat familiar with the group ( as a member) one has pretty good idea of the reasonableness of authority and the scope of the rules. If the request violates Christian teaching, then there is no authority.

The compulsion is from a scriptural standpoint, not legality.

May 26, 2005, 03:40 PM
I can't locate the article right now, but IIRC, the members of the St. Stephens AME church in Toldeo, OH found out about this the hard way early this year...

Couple of BG's ran into the church and pointed guns to the heads of children, under age 12, demanding that the members give them money, jewelry, etc.

Don't know how much money & stuff they got.

May 26, 2005, 03:41 PM
Not illegal in TX! A house of worship must post an appropriate sign. I haven't seen one yet. But then again, I don't survey them. But no one's every mentioned seeing one in San Antonio.

May 26, 2005, 04:11 PM
Chopinbloc, your "ex" is just another naive Bliss-Ninny whose mind-set creates all those ridiculous "gun-free" zones.

Their thinking goes like this: just declare certain areas/buildings to be "gun-free", "nuclear weapons-free", "rat/cockroach/termite free", etcetera... and, why then, they'll all be magically secure from any evil predations.

I always encourage those Grass-Eaters to also post signs on their homes reading "This Is A Gun-Free Zone"... to alert any passing burglar/robber/rapist that this place is actually a "Criminal Empowerment Zone" where they'll meet zero resistance from the Virtual-Victims-In-Waiting inside.

-->> The main idea of carrying INSIDE any building is to enable protection OUTSIDE the building, while going to and from your car, in always-dangerous parking lots, etc. So, I pose these questions to church members opposing this:

1. Are you going to provide me body-guard protection when I'm outside/going to-and-from church?

2. Will you totally indemnify me against any injuries, or property losses, which I sustain if I go "gun-free?"

3. Beyond that, what if your church split-off into 2 church congregations: one for the armed parishioners, and one for the dis-armed faithful. After a year or so, when the "word" got out (on the street), WHICH church would probably have experienced the Least crime... both IN and AROUND the building? If you were a Las Vegas bookie, which bet would you make?

Right. Thought so. Case closed.

May 26, 2005, 06:21 PM
"Let he who hath no sword sell his garment and buy one."

-- Jesus

"If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun."

-- Dalai Lama, Tibet

"It's a real conflict for me, when I go to sing in a concert, and I find out the audience is Republican."

-- Linda Ronstadt, singer

"The trouble with history is that it's not politically correct."

-- Col. Jeff Cooper

May 26, 2005, 08:26 PM
Yeah I carry. I usually carry wherever I go. I would guess at least 5 other guys at my church always carry too. Its just like anyplace else maybe you dont feel vulnerable in the building,but before and after services if you go somewhere in the parking lot etc.. nobody at my church cares they probably suspect we all carry anyway. The pastor and most pastors in our fellowship are pro gun anyway.

May 26, 2005, 08:36 PM
Just a friendly reminder, carrying on private property is subject to the approval of the property owner. If you are told no carry and you do, you are tresspassing and can be charged. Aside from that, it's just bad manners.
Hmm ...
I suppose I had never considered it that way. Maybe it's just me, but I never looked at the minister as The Owner. I always considered any "ownership" to lie in the local membership as a whole.

Andrew Rothman
May 26, 2005, 08:42 PM
if the gun is discovered in church (which is far more likely, with all the grandmothers hugging everyone), then it's a different story.

SmartCarry ( - won't nobody be hugging you there.

May 27, 2005, 08:53 AM
How soon we forget.

There have been at least two separate incidents covered that I can recall in the last year or so on TV news about church shootings, the most recent of which was a totally surprise murder of several people in the midst of services.

Like others, I wish we were "safe" in the sanctuary of the church, but I believe the churches and schools are unfortunately 'soft targets' in which a terrorist or a murderer would have little to no resistance.

My philosophy is that people around me are safer when I'm around.

P.S. The original language of the 5th Commandmant is properly translated as You shall not Murder.

May 27, 2005, 09:02 AM
beleave it or not i was baptized with my kel-tek .32. i put it in a zip-lok baggie and it never got wet :) also my paster likes having guns in the church, there is about 5 of us that does carry a hand gun. :cool:

May 27, 2005, 11:18 AM
Glocker: Now, that's dedication. *tips hat* :)

May 27, 2005, 11:37 AM
i appologize, i may have given the impression that i let my ex influence my choice about carry. i carry. everywhere. even, and i know some of you won't like this, where i'm not allowed to. i carry in restaraunts that serve alcohol, malls and other places that prohibit carry. generally i avoid those places, but sometimes i have to go and when i do i carry. i realize this is illegal, but only a misdemeanor and really not even that unless someone tells me the policy and i still don't leave. 'course the restaraunt example is illegal anyway. like another post said - the only thing that stops me is metal detectors. remember, it's CONCEALED so who's gonna know? funny, but my ccw instructor actually told us that, too.
Just a friendly reminder, carrying on private property is subject to the approval of the property owner. If you are told no carry and you do, you are tresspassing and can be charged. Aside from that, it's just bad manners.
well, i think i know how the Owner feels about it, but i'm not sure how some of the manager or other users of His property feel about it.

May 28, 2005, 04:21 AM
Here in Michigan you cannot carry in church unless the pastor/priest/etc. gives you premission.


May 28, 2005, 11:03 AM
Just a friendly reminder, carrying on private property is subject to the approval of the property owner.

First time I've quoted my own posting...

Let me amend that statement to "approval of the property owner or his/her agent acting in a custodial role with responsibility for the safe and orderly intended use of said property."

walking arsenal
May 28, 2005, 11:30 AM
I've got a gun that i have just for church on sunday. It's short and has a full holster so it doesnt go CLUNK! when i sit in the wooden pews... :scrutiny: ..pues..... :confused: .....seats :) .

May 28, 2005, 11:34 AM
Here in GA church carry is still prohibited by law. We're working on changing that. In the meantime, a lot of people who carry do so wherever they feel the need, regardless the restrictions of the law.

May 28, 2005, 06:16 PM
I'm an Assistant Pastor/Song Leader at a small baptist church. My wife and I both carry at church with our pastor's blessing.


May 28, 2005, 07:52 PM accept the responsibility of caring for their well-being, whether its putting foot in their mouth...

I put my foot in my mouth enough on my own, no need to do it for loved ones too. :cool:

May 28, 2005, 08:36 PM
I only carry to church about 1/7th of the time. (Unless I also have to go to the church during the week, and then it's 2/7th of the time.) :D

May 28, 2005, 11:31 PM
Unfortunately, Arkansas also has prohibited carrying in places of worship. My CHL instructor explained to us that the politicians' reasoning was that there shouldn't be easy access to firearms in places where tempers could easily flare (i.e. religious debates). I guess we CHL holders are not susceptable to anger outside of any areas other than those prohibitted ... Or perhaps we're more susceptable in those places ... :banghead:

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