Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Asked and Answered

Last night, at church, many folks asked me (because I am a law enforcement officer) if someone would be allowed to carry a firearm during services.  One of those who asked was my pastor.    In light of recent acts and with full knowledge of current events, that seems like a prudent question.

I told my pastor that under my understanding of the law, the pastor could give permission to anyone to carry on the church premises.  This morning, because I wanted to be firmly grounded in current law, I went to the Louisiana Legislatures website and reviewed the pertinent statutes.

The pertinent law is here, listed as LA Revised Statute 40:1379.3.  The law generally prohibits carry in a church, synagogue, or mosque, but allows an exception:
 U.(1) The entity which owns the business or has authority over the administration of a church, synagogue, or mosque shall have the authority to authorize any person issued a valid concealed handgun permit as authorized by the provisions of this Section to carry a concealed handgun in the church, synagogue, or mosque.
As such, the pastor gave us permission to carry in church.  We're a Cowboy church, and the congregants are very familiar with firearms, many of them having CCW permits.  To say that the congregation was heavily armed last night would not be understatement.

 I'd caution my readers that this is Louisiana law and the laws in your jurisdiction might vary.

As important as the legal regime is in every jurisdiction, it leaves unanswered the moral question:  Would you rather be tried by twelve of your peers, or carried by six of your friends?


kamas716@yahoo.com said...

ND finally passed a law allowing for concealed carry in places of worship. But even before that, I'm sure there were many that did it anyway. My FiL being a LEO and a pastor, I can't imagine him not even while in church. Borrowing his vehicles was always an adventure sorting through everything to make sure I wouldn't get nabbed for carrying in a vehicle.

Jonathan H said...

I read the whole statute and U(5) appears to me to require additional yearly training to carry in a church, even if authorized by the pastor. How do you read that section?

What is the penalty for carrying in a church when it is not allowed? If I read L correctly, it looks like $500 and six months in jail, but I'm not clear if that is carrying without a permit, or carrying with a permit where carry isn't allowed.

Where I live, the one state I am in often allows church carry; the other one does not but the penalty for violation is small and the likelihood of getting caught even smaller, so there is little hindrance to doing it anyway.