Church shooting scenario

This is a discussion on Church shooting scenario within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; You and your wife/SO are seated in church on Sunday morning. The main auditorium is rather large with a stage in the front and rows ...

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Thread: Church shooting scenario

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    Church shooting scenario

    You and your wife/SO are seated in church on Sunday morning. The main auditorium is rather large with a stage in the front and rows of pews. It is the main worship service and the auditorium is full of teens and adults.

    Sunday School/Kids church classrooms are in the same building but through a set of double doors and down a hall in a separate room. The hallway is a horseshoe shape that goes around the main auditorium with rooms branching off from it. Exits are at the back of the auditorium and one on each side, however since the hall's shape you have cross the hall to go out the exit doors.

    The service is interupted by the sound of two gunshots and a female screaming from the area of the kids classrooms.

    Going by your particular state law, are you legal to carry in church and so on, how would you react? Are you carrying anyway despite the law? Do you have kids in Sunday School? How or would your reaction be different whether or not you had kids in the Sunday School?
    You know that at least one other person in church is a CCW holder but is he carrying? If your church has security do they have an active shooter plan? Are armed members of the church part of that plan?

    The purpose of this is to make you formulate a plan or run through the plan you may already have as to your actions. If you are not legal in your state to carry in church is it in your vehicle and so on.
    If you do not have kids or a wife or SO what would you do? Please no responses of I don't go to church etc.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    You and your wife/SO are seated in church on Sunday morning. The main auditorium is rather large with a stage in the front and rows of pews. It is the main worship service and the auditorium is full of teens and adults.

    Sunday School/Kids church classrooms are in the same building but through a set of double doors and down a hall in a separate room. The hallway is a horseshoe shape that goes around the main auditorium with rooms branching off from it. Exits are at the back of the auditorium and one on each side, however since the hall's shape you have cross the hall to go out the exit doors.

    The service is interupted by the sound of two gunshots and a female screaming from the area of the kids classrooms.

    Going by your particular state law, are you legal to carry in church and so on, how would you react?
    In VA, the law is written you cannot carry unless there is "good and sufficient reason"--hint: my wife and kids are a good and sufficient reason (there is no case law on this, so the definition is wide to interpretation)--and if there is an active shooter, this just proves my point. What would I do? Scan and breathe....scan and breathe and move to the sounds of the guns looking for additional shooters, telling people to call 911.

    Are you carrying anyway despite the law?
    Explained above

    Do you have kids in Sunday School?
    Yes

    How or would your reaction be different whether or not you had kids in the Sunday School?
    No different. Why? Because how do I know the shooter isn't going to come after the rest of the congregation, including me and mine.

    You know that at least one other person in church is a CCW holder but is he carrying?
    Don't know...that's what communication is for, but if it's one of my friends, they are carrying.

    If your church has security do they have an active shooter plan? Are armed members of the church part of that plan?
    No. n/a.

    The purpose of this is to make you formulate a plan or run through the plan you may already have as to your actions. If you are not legal in your state to carry in church is it in your vehicle and so on. If you do not have kids or a wife or SO what would you do? Please no responses of I don't go to church etc.
    I still move to the sounds of the guns (carefully)...because I don't know if there is another shooter. Scan and breathe....scan and breathe
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    Sig that is a generic law would hate to be the first to test it.

    You would do as I would travel to the sound of gunfire whether my kids were in there or not.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    Without getting fancy with the exact details of exactly how I would go about this scenerio...

    The reality is...there's a shooter(s) in church. He is in or about the area of the children. I'm armed, he has to be stopped and there is no time to wait for law enforcement or anyone else.

    There are times to be a good witness and there are times to act. This is a time to act.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Sig that is a generic law would hate to be the first to test it.
    Understood...but if there is a real shooter, and he/she is stopped by someone with a CHP (as it is called in VA), then the "good and sufficient" requirement has been defined. This would be a better test than someone "caught" with a concealed handgun in a church, arrested, and then have to defend why they have a handgun in a church.

    You would do as I would travel to the sound of gunfire whether my kids were in there or not.
    Amen.
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

    martyr is a fancy name for crappy fighter
    You have never lived until you have almost died. For those that have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know

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    Absolutely. EBBBBBBBBB31 Where have you been?
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tacman605 View Post
    Absolutely. EBBBBBBBBB31 Where have you been?
    Here, just fighting through lifes ups and downs. lol. How's everything?

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    SSDD give me a shout
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    I am certainly going to try and protect my grandchildren, but remember...the police have most likely been called, and YOU are planning to move around that church armed.
    This is not going to go well when the police arrive. I would probably remain concealed as I slowly tried to investigate, and if possible, I would want to be on the line with 911...that could be of great assistance to my well-being.
    Another matter would be other CCW permit holders who have similar intentions as mine...FL allows church carry, and I know others DO carry.
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    Ret have you discussed anything like this with fellow church members? Are there any restrictions, so to speak, on Fla church carry?
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I carry my 642 in the cover of the Good Book, so I would not hesitate. I would make sure my wife was heading for the exit.

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    This is an excellent post. I agree somewhat with retsupt. I would stay concealed and investigate until I determined the origin of the threat. If you have multiple shooters or a shooter laying in ambush for "investogators" to come. The man with the gun becomes the first threat and target. I alos have considered going with a different weapon for church carry for a different reason than just size. I typically EDC a G23. I am good with this gun at 25 yds easily, and with a steady hand or rest, out to 50. The thing that has to be considered is there will be multiple people in a very chaotic situation, scattering and screaming. This is where my J-frame would come in. I believe I would be forced to take closer and more conscientious shots, due to capacity, and range, and proximity of non hostiles. I of course would carry a speed loader. Unfortunately, we cant very well get away with a 12 gauge shotgun in the sanctuary. No church I have attended has a security plan or a policy on firearms. As far as I know there is no law against church carry in WV. The church I currently attend does have several LEO, who attend, as well as my coworker who carries, but leaves it in the vehicle a majority of the time. I attend with my M&P 340 in my right front pocket. and a speedloader in the weakside front pocket.
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    I believe in MO it is specifically stated "no church carry unless you have permission."

    We have a larger congregation and facility. To be a blessing to our local city and county LEO's, and a comfort to our attendees, we hire them to be very visible. One uniformed LEO and a plain clothes LEO at each weekend service. They not only watch over the children area, but guard the receiving of the offerings, etc. They would handle the disturbance.

    But, I know for a fact there are others roaming all the areas of the church that are carrying, too. Some staff and some volunteers. Some with permission, some not.

    To answer the OP, more than likely my wife and I would be on stage and due to the distance, not even hear the shots or scream. Do we have a plan? If so, I wasn't included.

    Oh, all our kids are grown, gone and in ministry. No grand kids yet.
    There ya go........

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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    a group of us guys from our church (about 9-12) are headed to frontsight in late Jan for the 4 day defensive handgun course.....we live in very rural area, it would take the sherriff about 30 minutes to show up--so if someone has to be stopped, its up to us, unless we want to line up like targets at the old fashioned circus shooting gallery.......
    Scott, US Army 1974-2004

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    Quote Originally Posted by EB31 View Post
    Without getting fancy with the exact details of exactly how I would go about this scenerio...

    The reality is...there's a shooter(s) in church. He is in or about the area of the children. I'm armed, he has to be stopped and there is no time to wait for law enforcement or anyone else.

    There are times to be a good witness and there are times to act. This is a time to act.
    This.

    I'll worry about first responders when they arrive. Our last church, before the move, had at least 8 ccw who regularly carried and we trained together on occasion.
    Assault is a type of behavior, not a type of hardware.

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