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No guns in God’s house?

No guns in God’s house?

Via Facebook:

The group Episcopalians Against Gun Violence asks whether local dioceses have restrictions in place banning guns in churches. If not, what guidelines have they issued regarding the possession of guns in church?

Beyond churches, if dioceses have policies against guns on church property, that would affect schools, and even places of residence such as rectories.

Does your diocese ban guns in church, or on church property? If not, what restrictions or guidelines are in place? Do you agree with them?

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Frank Logue

While the State of Georgia has a law that would permit guns in churches, the Bishops of Atlanta and Georgia only permit on duty law enforcement officials to possess firearms. More information on this is online here: http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2014/04/29/no-guns-at-episcopal-churches-in-georgia-bishops-say/

Frank Logue
Canon to the Ordinary
Episcopal Diocese of Georgia

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Fred Loving

A point that is being overlooked is that many states have laws on the books that cover this just like they have laws that cover snake handling. If you live in Mayberry a uniformed police officer complete with service weapon at the alter rail gets no more notice than the off duty officer with a bulge under his jacket or the female volunteer EMT with a radio on her belt. When the World War 2 air raid goes off at the fire station members of the volunteer fire department get up and leave. There are communities like Mayberry all over this country. You have a small number of paid emergency responders and a larger number of volunteers and everybody is subject to being called out at any moment. No, there is nothing holy about a firearm. There is nothing holy about a switchblade type knife that has a window punch and a seatbelt cutter attached. They are just tools of the trade. The hand that holds that tool is the same hand that receives the bread and chalice. You should be glad you have these people in your community and your church. Since I have retired from law enforcement for the second time I no longer carry in my church just like I do not carry in a school or a court building or anyplace else my permit does not cover. I still get up when the fire siren goes off.

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Angie Forde

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
[and some in guns], but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. (Ps 20:7)

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Mark Mason

Blessed be The Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight-PS 144

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JC Fisher

The "Gospel" of the NRA!

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Cynthia Katsarelis

I think the big picture is gun policy that saves lives. At the parish level, I would think that each parish can make its own policy. I see an enormous difference between law enforcement who are trained vs. untrained citizens with concealed carry permits. (I want to acknowledge that not all law enforcement professionals treat all lives equally, my hope is that they are a minority). Our parish had a very credible threat made against it by an off balanced individual. We were told that there would be unobtrusive security for a couple of weeks. I never spotted the security people, and I grew up in Washington D.C. and thought I had the look down. I was glad that that they were there, where ever they were. A city police officer is assigned to the homeless shelter where we volunteer and she even helps out. While she's armed, I'm particularly heartened by the walkie talkie conveniently located on her vest for quick response in case of trouble. We are a downtown church and generally there are no police around and we have no policy about individuals.

I would prefer that untrained people not carry in church or anywhere else.

In Haiti, I have not worshipped with armed guards "protecting" us. I bet, however, that some do. As David describes, in the Third World, where infrastructure of all sorts is challenged, the rich hire private security.

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Carolyn Peet

Cynthia, here in Texas CCL holders are not "untrained". Else they would not have the license.

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Cynthia Katsarelis

I've been hearing about a lot of very bad accidents in Texas that ought not to happen with truly trained people. I think that for Texas "trained" is about right. I would want armed carriers to have military or law enforcement level skills and real training (without quotes) minimum.

Sorry, but I have to agree with the Norwegians about "Texas."

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Paul Woodrum

Ah, but those uniforms that help the guards blend in with their eminences. Clerical camonflage?

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