Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Arkansas House passes bill to allow guns in churches
By Suzi Parker
The Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill on Monday to allow concealed-carry permit holders to take their weapons into churches, and it is expected to be signed into law by the state's governor.
The Church Protection Act would allow individual places of worship to decide whether to allow concealed handguns and who could carry them.
Arkansas joins a handful of other states, including South Carolina, Wyoming and Louisiana, that allow guns in churches, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Gun control and gun rights issues have dominated the public conversation since a gunman shot dead 20 children and six adults at an elementary school December 14 in Newtown, Connecticut.
"It was past time for the legislature to get out of the business of our churches, and it appears that at least 113 legislators agree," Stehle said. "This pro-First Amendment bill gives churches that can't afford private security staff the ability to provide a safe environment for their congregants."
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was once a Southern Baptist minister, told Reuters that guns had saved lives in some churches. "A couple of cases - the church in Colorado where a crazed shooter was stopped by an off-duty deputy who had her gun - probably saved a lot of lives," he said.
Posted by Zee at 9:03 AM