BATON ROUGE (AP) — Concealed handguns won’t be allowed in Roman Catholic churches, despite a new state law allowing them.
“We don’t think it is appropriate to have guns in churches,” Danny Loar, executive director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops — the church’s public policy arm in Louisiana, said Monday.
The law allows concealed handguns in churches, synagogues or mosques for those with a valid permit and training. It also says those with authority over a church have the final say in their church.
Bishops discussed the issue when reviewing bills, Loar said.
“The bishops decided that, if the bill became law, the bishops would let their pastors know that this would not be permissible in Catholic churches,” Loar said.
The previous law let only law enforcement officials carry concealed weapons into churches.
Loar said he notified Louisiana’s bishops by e-mail shortly after Gov. Bobby Jindal signed state Rep. Henry Burns’ bill into law on July 6. [Source]
But what if I bring this gun?
* Photo: Confiscated from Mexican drug lord earlier this year.
I’ve brought a rifle to the chapel, but only because we were in Iraq and we had to carry it everywhere. I can’t imagine what would make you think carrying a gun to the church down the block is in any way a good idea.
Because stories like this are not that rare unfortunately.
Two teenage brothers who were shot in a Richmond church are cooperating with police to help identify and arrest three hooded men who burst into the packed service and opened fire, police said Monday.
If you have a concealed carry permit then the right to self-defense does not end at the door to the parish.
Traditionally, there is a place for ushers as guards, and for Knights of Columbus (and other groups) as additional security.
But it’s fair to say that people have worn dress swords to Catholic churches in the past (mostly in pre-pew times), as well as other small self-defense weapons. However… there have also been times when Catholics deliberately didn’t wear weapons to church, turning their fates over to Providence. The bishop has a right to make that call for his flock.
Of course, in the past churches could double as a place to “hole up”, pretty easily, and you usually had ushers watching every door. Nowadays, the architecture doesn’t lend itself so easily to keeping the flock defended.
And of course, there would always be the temptation to shoot the liturgical dancer (but I guess I can joke, I live in a country that doesn’t really ‘do’ guns).
I can’t address Louisiana, but in Texas the law is such that – if you don’t want people to carry in your establishment – you have to post a 30.06 sign with a specified text in letters at least one inch high in a prominent location. (The legal code section 30.06 was apparently deliberately chosen, I’m told, because it’s a common deer rifle caliber) The only place I have ever seen a real 30.06 sign posted is, ironically, at the gun show, where they also have an off-duty cop on hand to make sure you are unloaded and zip-tie your sidearm open.
You can, of course, put up a “gun with a bar through it” sign, but that has no legal standing. You can tell someone to leave your property, and they are obligated to do so under pain of trespass, but they didn’t violate any law by coming in the first time.
Speaking as a not-quite Catholic (orthodox Anglican – there’s a few of us left – prayers for Anglicanorum Coetibus are humbly requested), our little church will NEVER post a 30.06 sign, guns are regularly oohed and aahed over – and bought and sold – in the parking lot, and one of the bishops (out of another state) of our little autocephalous denomination is known to pack a .45. And we have the Anglican Society of St. Gabriel Possenti, the unofficial patron saint of handgunners.
Self-defense is one of the Rights of Man, and those rights come directly from God not from the government or any other authority. I had the luxury of growing up in one of those rare periods and places in history where a man didn’t have to walk around armed. Pity that it’s ending, but sic transit gloria…
The bishop has a right to make that call for his flock.
Really? Then I guess I have the right to worship at the local monastery or personal prefecture which is not under the Bishop’s authority.
The benefit will probably be, the Mass will be celebrated in a more reverent manner, and the music will be better.
What a silly rule. It is virtually impossible to enforce without making churchgoers go through a metal detector, and will only make parishes easier targets for violence.