In the aftermath of Georgia’s loosening of gun possession and carry laws, the bishops of the dioceses of Georgia Episcopal News Service have said no to carrying guns in church (except on-duty law enforcement personnel):
Firearms will not be permitted in buildings or on property of any Episcopal church anywhere in the state of Georgia, bishops of the two Georgia dioceses have said.
Diocese of Atlanta Bishop Rob Wright and Diocese of Georgia Bishop Scott Benhase were responding to Gov. Nathan Deal’s April 24 signing of what is called the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014. Each sent letters to clergy and lay leaders last week.
The law, which expands broadly where guns may be carried, takes effect July 1. Places of worship may allow the carrying of weapons, but that permission must be granted by the ecclesiastical authority which, in the case of the Episcopal Church, is the diocesan bishop. Illegally bringing a gun into a house of worship will be considered a misdemeanor with a $100 fine. On-duty law enforcement officers will be exempt from the restriction.