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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Guns in churches now legal in Mississippi

Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant arrives to attend B.B. King's funeral in Indianola, Mississippi May 30, 2015.  REUTERS/Mike Blake
Mississippi, Governor Phil Bryant. (REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a gun rights bill on Friday allowing churches to create security programs designating members to carry firearms to defend worshipers against violence.

The legislation, called the “Mississippi Church Protection Act,” also makes it easier for residents in other settings to carry concealed weapons, drawing criticism from national gun control advocates.

It was passed amid heightened concerns about church security after a gunman last June killed nine black worshippers during a Bible study session at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, an attack that authorities say was racially motivated.

“Churches deserve protection from those who would harm worshippers,” said Bryant, a Republican, in a Twitter post explaining his decision to sign the measure into law.

In most states, churches could address security concerns with similar programs without the need for a new law, according to Amy Hunter, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association gun rights lobbying group which supported the measure providing civil liability immunity.

The legislation also allows Mississippi residents eligible to own a gun to carry a firearm in holsters without a permit, she said, expanding on a state law enacted last year allowing for similar access in purses, bags and briefcases.

However, gun control proponents called the law dangerous.

“Mississippi law enforcement, families and faith leaders all spoke out against this reckless bill that will allow dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit,” said Shirley Hopkins Davis, a volunteer with the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in a statement.

Participants carrying firearms for church security programs must have safety training and meet permitting standards.

Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

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14 thoughts on “Guns in churches now legal in Mississippi”

  1. The “Gun Free Zone” Ohio delegate convention is the ideal site to implement “Open Carry”. With emotions running high, there is a possibility of violence and guns will deter any untoward incident from happening.

  2. So on Sunday church-goers in Mississippi might hear this from their preacher, “Will the congregation please stand and sing Hymn 666, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”.

  3. The day a church n it’s people need guns for the church !!! Runnnnn . You and your pastor have no faith and leaning to their own understands . Without faith u can’t please God . So ur wasting ur time n going through the motions

  4. Imagine that! Mississippi going backward in time…hard to believe it is so far behind already.

  5. It’s okay, sometimes bad people go to good places, and then you need good people with guns to get the bad people to understand that they will be dead if they mess with good people. It is simple, and people should understand that God would not have allowed pistols to be invented if we couldn’t use them to keep churches violence and gun fire free, unless the good people need it

    • BUT IF A BAD GUY GOES IN CHURCH, stands at the back, akk the good guns are looking the other way… popopopopopopopopopopopopopop how many die before the shooter is stopped and how many good guns are identified as bad guns and shot popopopopopopopopopopop in the meantime? ALLOWING guns at all sends a signal to the nutcases… “now I can go in a church with a gun and shoot up!”

  6. There are two parts to this article. Allowing churches to allow people have guns and allowing unpermitted carry.

    My comment is on the latter.

    “will allow dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit, said Shirley Hopkins Davis”
    Maybe Davis can’t read.

    The bill says:

    “residents eligible to own a gun to carry a firearm in holsters without a permit”

    If they are eligible to own a gun, they are not dangerous. It is the people who are not eligible to own guns that you have to worry about, and they are not going to be paying attention to the law anyway.

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