Fidelity bank banner Bayelsa State banner
US state governor signs law allowing guns in churches

By News Express on 16/04/2016

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+

Views: 1,945


A holstered gun sat on top of a Bible on Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant’s desk Friday when he signed a law allowing guns in churches, which he said would help protect worshippers from potential attackers.

The Church Protection Act allows places of worship to designate members to undergo firearms training so they can provide armed security for their congregations. It specifies that those designated can carry guns into church buildings and gives them legal protections.

The law also loosens gun permit requirements by allowing people to carry holstered weapons without a permit, making Mississippi the ninth state with such a law, said NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter.

The Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police says that part of the bill dismantles the state’s licensing system and makes it harder to check if someone with a gun is a violent criminal. Other opponents say it endangers people by putting more guns in untrained hands.

The law strikes a chord in this Bible Belt state where many hunt and shoot for sport.

It’s a difficult discussion that can get politicised and very emotional, flattening an issue with more nuance, said Pastor Pat Ward, who leads The Orchard Church in Oxford. People in his congregation see both sides; they are racially diverse, conservative and liberal, some older, some still University of Mississippi students. His church is guarded by a team of experienced law enforcement officials.

“I think in the South people have a certain familiarity with guns and are also strong in their religious beliefs,” Ward said. “But we don’t always think about the relationship between them. What does our familiarity with guns say about us as people who claim to be following God, who preach about peace and love?”

At the Greater Bethlehem Temple in west Jackson, Pastor Ervin Ricks finds a bullet lodged in the walls about nine times a year. Many in his mostly black congregation of 1,200 have lost family members to gun violence.

That’s why worshippers at this church in a high-crime west Jackson neighbourhood are told to leave any weapons at the door. Ricks said they leave security to the surveillance cameras and off-duty police officers scanning the grounds.

“I don’t know that there’s a more dangerous community in Mississippi to live in,” said Ricks, whose church doesn’t oppose gun ownership because many congregants hunt and shoot for sport. “But we want to help lift it up and show folks the right way to live. It’s incumbent on us to say we’re Christians and show what that looks like.”

The bill was authored by Baptist pastor and state Rep. Andy Gipson, who says it’s necessary in light of the massacre of nine parishioners during a Bible study last year in Charleston, South Carolina. He said the law gives small congregations an option to defend themselves against attack.

Only two states – Georgia and North Dakota – prohibit all guns from places of worship, said Taylor Maxwell, a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for gun safety laws. Eight states prohibit concealed carry permit holders from carrying guns into places of worship; other states leave it up to the place of worship.

At Gipson’s church in Braxton, about 40 minutes southeast of Jackson, the surrounding countryside is home to many gun owners and hunters. Neighbors can tell who’s shooting by the sound the gunshot makes, Gipson says. It’s here that the lawmaker leads a mostly white congregation of about 80 people.

Melissa Sullivan, a member of Gipson’s Gum Springs Baptist Church, was carrying a gun during service one Sunday in late March. Most of the congregation carries guns most of the time, including the women, she said. She said she feels safe but isn’t naive enough to believe there isn’t a threat.

“The bad guys are gonna have a way to get their point across,” she said. “We have to have a right to defend our family.” (AP)

•Photo shows Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signing the law on Friday.

Source News Express

Posted 16/04/2016 7:49:34 PM

 

Share on facebook Yahoo mail icon Gmail icon Share on Google+


 

CLASSIFIED ADS

REVEALED: 3 natural ways to get stronger erections, last 25 minutes on bed, and increase manhood size without using drugs. Also, Natural Prostrate Enlargement Remedy.. Get In HERE...

 

You may also like...
Obiano mourns Offodile, says his death a great...

Dog kills son of Gambia’s President-elect

Minister hails Nigeria-China relations, calls China important development...

Soldier escorting oil workers drowns at Agip’s oilfield...

African Union chair attacks Donald Trump

Python swallows woman in her farm

INEC registers new party

Jonathan setting traps for Buhari, says Rivers APC...

Kelechi Iheanacho, Asisat Oshoala, others win 2016 Glo-CAF...

Rivers APC demands reinstatement of 22 LG chairmen...

Export Council seeks review of EU ban on...

Expert shares secrets of financial independence

 

Latest News Sex-for-marks: OAU sacks Prof. Akindele Ohanaeze rejects FG’s plan to establish ranches in 10 states US deports 34 Nigerians Buhari approves appointment of 29 Appeal Court Justices, others (See full list) 2019: CAN denies endorsing Buhari’s reelection Robbery: FCT residents cry for help Bayelsa Commissioner, Special Adviser dump PDP for APC Asset Declaration: Custom Superintendent for trial June 28 El-Zakzaky: Scores injured in fresh police, Shiites clash in Kaduna N24bn Police Pension fraud: Court admits suspect’s statements Heavy downpour: Kaduna residents in flood-prone areas urged to relocate History will be fair to you as a core democrat, Atiku tells Jonathan

 

Most Read Nigerian female sex addict opens up, says ‘I like it with both men and women’ (352,208 views) NUDE PHOTO OF OMOTOLA JALADE-EKEINDE surfaces online (351,502 views) Shameless Genevieve Nnaji exposes breasts in public (280,125 views) Finally named: The full list of friends of Nigerian female sex addict who prowled Facebook (230,015 views) Igbo scholar disgraces Femi Fani-Kayode •Demolishes claims on Igbo/Yoruba history with facts and figures (209,028 views) OLUMBA OLUMBA OBU (the one who called himself God) IS DEAD (208,673 views) Breaking News: POPULAR REVEREND CONVERTS TO ISLAM in Kaduna (Nigeria) (181,754 views) OBJ’s son reported dead in Lagos plane crash •Names of more victims emerge (163,856 views) THE FINAL DISGRACE: Igbo scholar unleashes more facts about Igbo/Yoruba history, finishes off Femi Fani-Kayode with second article (153,892 views) My wasted years in Olumba Olumba Obu’s Evil Brotherhood (148,563 views) Lagos plane crash: Journalist releases victims’ names (143,802 views) Gunmen kill ASP, 2 other police officers in vain bid to kidnap Rivers PDP chieftain (135,644 views)

 

Categories Advertorials (3) African Press Organisation (81) Art & Literature (50) Business & Economy (3,257) Business Verdict (44) Columnists (868) Complaints & Requests (94) Enterprise & Opportunities (207) Entertainment (505) Features (607) Global Business Monitor (283) International (2,040) Interview (154) Live Commentary (28) Love Matters (123) News (36,356) Opinion (1,003) Pidgin (10) Politics (5,292) Religion (770) Sports (1,552) Stock Watch (30) AMA & Al Jazeera Global Update

 

CBN banner

Firstmobile banner

 

 

NEWS EXPRESS TV

Portugal v Spain 2018

 

APO Group Partner

 

 

CLASSIFIED ADS

GOCOP Accredited Member

GOCOP Accredited member

 

 

Africa Media Agency and Al Jazeera

Advertisement