Arkansas to Step into the 20th Century

Remove Gun-Free Zone status of Churches:

The Arkansas Senate is voting on legislation that would allow concealed handguns in churches, the first of several gun-related measures expected in this year’s session.

The Senate on Thursday planned to vote on a proposal by Republican Sen. Bryan King of Green Forest that would remove churches from the list of places where concealed weapons are prohibited. King’s proposal would leave it up to churches and other places of worship to determine whether to allow concealed handguns and who can carry them.

The “No Guns in Church” thing is a Southern thing, Northern states rarely have similar laws, and I suspect a good crop of Southern states don’t have it either. Hell in Massachusetts and other Colonial states it was actually ILLEGAL for able-bodied men to come UNARMED to Church (PDF).

I hope Arkansas does the right thing with this! Remember, if it saves JUST ONE LIFE!!!


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7 Responses to Arkansas to Step into the 20th Century

  1. Stan says:

    Churches are pistol free zones in Michigan unless you have officiants permission.

  2. Jake says:

    Virginia’s statute is a bit odd. It’s illegal to carry a weapon in church “without good and sufficient reason”, but what constitutes “good and sufficient reason” is left undefined. That probably (IANAL) means that it defaults to “any lawful purpose” being legal, but I would hate to have to test that in court.

  3. Stuart the Viking says:

    A “good and sufficient reason” is whatever your betters tell you it is. LOL.

    All kidding aside, you could fight it in court and would probably win because “good and sufficient reason” would probably be found to be unconstitutionally vague, but by the time the courts finally found you innocent you wouldn’t care anymore because your life would be in ruins from the years of court battles.

    Justice is only for the rich who can afford the lawyers to get it for them.


  4. Erin Palette says:

    My church is filled with retired vets and my pastor is a Major in the Army Reserve. Based on some offhand comments made by said pastor (who not only knows I carry and is fine with it, but has seen my Glock and liked the CT Lasergrip), anyone who tries to shoot up our church is going to get a very painful response.

    • Geodkyt says:

      I had an Anglican priest* recommend a particular parish to me because the priest was a retired flag officer who routinely wore a concealed Beretta 92 every day – even during services.

      *Who is personally very antigun, but who accepts gun rights for other — he’s not pro-gun control; just doesn’t want them around him, and wishes everyone would choose to not have them either. He’s a good friend, and even supported the vestry when they sponsored live bird shoots for charity at our old parish. He just stayed away that Saturday, because he is really, really, uncomfortable around guns. I stayed away because I find canned hunts very, very, distasteful, and I wasn’t going to pony up a $500 entry fee anyway. {chuckle}

  5. Geodkyt says:

    Virginia’s legal system is a tad odd. Official opinions (think of teh Catholic doctrine of ex cathedra — the AG merely stating something offhand in a press conference is not an “official” opinion, and the law restricts who can demand an official opinion) of the Commonwealth’s AG (an elected Constitutional officer, not an appointee) are treated as being almost as binding as a court decision, in cases where they are interpreting something in the law the legislature has not clearly addressed. AGs are really loathe to overrule previous AG opinions, treating them almost with stare decisis, although they will interpret them as narrowly as they think, if they disagree with them.

    When the state courts (including the Supremes) face conflicting (but individually valid; i.e., a Jim Crow AG opinion that says blacks can’t marry whites would be ignored outright) AG opinions, they tend to look at the oldest one, or the one that has stood the longest.

    I have no idea if this deference to the AG’s official opinions is enshrined in VA’s constitution, law, or if it is just 300+ years of tradition case history at work.

    Having given all that background, the official opinion of the AG is that “lawful self defence” is all the “good and sufficient reason” a CHP holder needs — the intent of the legislature was to ban the carrying of a weapon by a CHP holder for nefarious purposes, such as intimidation.

    Which is neat, because AFAIK, the nefarious purpose this law (and similar ones through the South) was intended to ban was the intimidation of Klansmen by “uppity” blacks who “nefariously” objected to being lynched and threats of the church being burned down by “peaceable” pyromaniacs in pointy white hoods. . .

  6. William says:

    If y’all are ever up in the frozen north of Alaska, stop by my church and please carry. I carry in the pulpit, sometimes concealed, sometimes not. There are several others carrying. We get together as friends to shoot. We sometimes have official church outings to the range. The elders and I shoot together on a regular basis.

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