Carry to church???

This is a discussion on Carry to church??? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by wjh2657 ...I don't even want to be tempted to start shooting in the church, I know I'd hit somebody that I would ...

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Thread: Carry to church???

  1. #46
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wjh2657 View Post
    ...I don't even want to be tempted to start shooting in the church, I know I'd hit somebody that I would regret.
    On the other hand, you have a fair idea where they would go.

    Seriously, that is a real concern. Saving a crowd of people has a great appeal to it; killing a couple in the process kind of ruins the picture. Thanks for the reminder. I believe I will continue to carry, but I will be turning over in my mind today whether or not I feel I am as good a shot as I want to be for such situations.
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  3. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by miklcolt45 View Post
    Sorry, but not true. It is not a federal law, and it is not a FL law.

    IF the church has a weekday school, such as a pre-school, or elementary, middle or high school, your interpretation would be correct.

    However, Sunday Schools would not be considered schools for the purpose of the law you have quoted.

    In addition, FL law allows for CWFL holders to carry in their car while dropping off a child/student as long as one does not leave the car.
    Not possible if it would conflict with Federal law.

    Finally, a district in TX just passed a law allowing teachers who are CWP holders to carry with permission. Therefore, cannot be a Fed law.

    Now, I am not a lawyer, don't play one on tv, did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express, but my attorney, in consultation with an attorney who works for the State of FL, is clear that there is no issue on Sundays. He is also clear that I am good to go when the school is not in session. It is questionable whether there is an issue during the week, if one is carrying in a part of the campus other than the school portion. If someone wants to be the test case, we could find out for sure. However, I don't know of any volunteers for that to date.
    Your apology is accepted.

    I am an attorney and have been doing litigation including criminal defense for the past twenty years, and I'm pretty sure about what I said. At the same time, there is the principle of "prosecutorial discretion": just because they could arrest or indict you doesn't mean they have to do so, or that they will ever enforce a particular law. Fornication is still a crime in Virginia, but the last time anyone was prosecuted for it was in the Eighteenth Century.

    Here's another wrinkle people don't usually think about: the United States has no law enforcement power under the Constitution (they do it "because they can"). But state law enforcement has the primary duty to enforce the laws of the United States. So if I were your local Sheriff and I wanted to "get" you, and knew you carried to church where there's a Sunday school, I wouldn't charge you for the class-four misdemeanor of carrying in church, I'd arrest you for having a firearm on school grounds.

    My uncle, the chief of police, once told me, "don't have any chinks in your armor." If you take risks, you open yourself up to danger that other people will exploit.

    The examples you cite do not suggest, as you propose, that there is no federal law (I even gave you the cite to the federal statute, if you think it doesn't exist, you can look it up yourself). The statute states that permittees under state law are subject to any exceptions that the state wants to allow, if the permit requires a background check. Virginia has such an exception, but I don't stay in my car in the driveway when I go to church.

    I think we need to get that federal statute amended to provide for a blanket exception for permit holders, as well as changes to all the states' laws implementing the same restrictions.

    As someone else observed, the best place for a lunatic to go shoot up a bunch of people is where he'll be most effective. Right now, the best places are schools and churches. My view is that if the State deprives its citizens of the right of self defense, then it undertakes a positive duty to protect, and if it negligently fails in that duty, it is liable for the damages that proximately result. The theory, after all, of why the police have no duty to protect citizens rests on the power and duty of the citizens to protect themselves.
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  4. #48
    Member Array Glock30Owner's Avatar
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    It is legal to carry in a place of worship in TN, as long as it is not posted. I personally don't carry a handgun while worshiping, but I have ready access to knives and swords, generally in hand (no, I'm not a Christian). Since my place of worship is also another room in my home, I have my handgun nearby, if needed.

    I do wonder if those Wiccans (not my religion) who worship skyclad outdoors are ever concerned about self-protection.

  5. #49
    Senior Member Array nosights's Avatar
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    I do carry in church, it is legal in Michigan if permission is granted by church officials. I have gained said permission and carry to protect myself, my family and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

    As to churches being a target...definately YES! As said already, they can be targeted due to "perception" of those inside. I think VERY carrfully about if I ever had to shoot in church what/how I would do it. After talking to others that have been in buildings when shootings have occured, the most probable situation would be that people would duck down in the pews and the BG would most likely be in the isle or narthex. This is why I sit on the center isle in the back of church (also practical due to the young age of my children).

    If a shooting were to occur, I would take action. If a robery were to occur and it appears (most likely due to the BG being percievably unarmed) that the BG is just going to take the collection plate and leave, I will most likely not act...but be on the ready with gun in hand.

    I have found the gun clunking on the back of the pew to be a bit annoying but after some time I forget about it and have learned quite some time back to sit down with caution. I also try and give hugs in church with my gun away from the person and try to get their arm to go over mine (this can bring a bit of awkwardness due to my being 6'6").
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  6. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by concealed View Post
    I would CC but Virginia does not allow it. Out of repsect for the parishioners, I believe OC is inappropriate.
    I believe the phrase in the VA code is "without good and sufficient reason"....but no further definition as who to defines "good" or "sufficient"...

    I carry...
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  7. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    I believe the phrase in the VA code is "without good and sufficient reason"....but no further definition as who to defines "good" or "sufficient"...
    My wife is in LE, and I have discussed this with many people related to LE. The consensus opinion is that "just carrying for protection" does not meet the intent. Of course they believe the language is vague just as you and I, but that is there initial take should they get a call concerning CC in church.

  8. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by concealed View Post
    I would CC but Virginia does not allow it. Out of repsect for the parishioners, I believe OC is inappropriate.
    Quote Originally Posted by SIGguy229 View Post
    I believe the phrase in the VA code is "without good and sufficient reason"....but no further definition as who to defines "good" or "sufficient"...

    I carry...


    This is the actual text of the law.

    Nowhere does it specify CC or OC, neither is a no-go without "good and sufficient" reason, what ever that is, I've gotten different opinions from local LEO, but those don't matter. What matters is the opinion of the prosecuting attorney.

  9. #53
    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    Your apology is accepted.

    I am an attorney and have been doing litigation including criminal defense for the past twenty years, and I'm pretty sure about what I said. At the same time, there is the principle of "prosecutorial discretion": just because they could arrest or indict you doesn't mean they have to do so, or that they will ever enforce a particular law. Fornication is still a crime in Virginia, but the last time anyone was prosecuted for it was in the Eighteenth Century.

    Here's another wrinkle people don't usually think about: the United States has no law enforcement power under the Constitution (they do it "because they can"). But state law enforcement has the primary duty to enforce the laws of the United States. So if I were your local Sheriff and I wanted to "get" you, and knew you carried to church where there's a Sunday school, I wouldn't charge you for the class-four misdemeanor of carrying in church, I'd arrest you for having a firearm on school grounds.

    My uncle, the chief of police, once told me, "don't have any chinks in your armor." If you take risks, you open yourself up to danger that other people will exploit.

    The examples you cite do not suggest, as you propose, that there is no federal law (I even gave you the cite to the federal statute, if you think it doesn't exist, you can look it up yourself). The statute states that permittees under state law are subject to any exceptions that the state wants to allow, if the permit requires a background check. Virginia has such an exception, but I don't stay in my car in the driveway when I go to church.

    I think we need to get that federal statute amended to provide for a blanket exception for permit holders, as well as changes to all the states' laws implementing the same restrictions.

    As someone else observed, the best place for a lunatic to go shoot up a bunch of people is where he'll be most effective. Right now, the best places are schools and churches. My view is that if the State deprives its citizens of the right of self defense, then it undertakes a positive duty to protect, and if it negligently fails in that duty, it is liable for the damages that proximately result. The theory, after all, of why the police have no duty to protect citizens rests on the power and duty of the citizens to protect themselves.
    Show us where it says "Sunday" schools.
    It says private, parochial, public, not Sunday.

    The Chief of Police here in town sent me an email saying we should never have another meeting without someone present who is armed.
    I also suspect he knows the laws of FL.

    I am not trying to be disagreeable. I want to follow the law, even when asinine, as is sometimes the case.

    But, do I believe you? Or, my attorney who has been in contact with our State Attorney's office? Or, the Chief of Police?
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  10. #54
    Senior Member Array elkhunter's Avatar
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    AS for the OP: it's legal, and I do.

    As for the school limitations, there are different state laws regarding weapons at schools.
    This might be a topic for another thread.
    VA has that 1000 ft from property rule, CO says it can be locked in your car on the property.
    Perhaps I'll word up another thread to discuss this.
    It’s so much easier now days, to "Love and honor" my wife, when she is armed, and shoots a better group than I do. (Till death do us part, eh?)

    “The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is, you point a gun at him,” the Sheriff said.

  11. #55
    Senior Member Array KenInColo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huzar View Post
    Given the shootings that occured in church in the past few years I guess it's a no brainer...
    +1 Fortunately here in Colo, we can.
    An armed populace are called citizens.
    An unarmed populace are called subjects.

  12. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    If the church has a day-care facility or private school during the week, or a sunday school, then it's a federal felony good for five years in a U.S. penitentiary to be in possession of a firearm within one thousand feet of the outer boundaries of the church property. It's the school-rule, and the definition of "school" is so broad, you pretty much can't have a weapon in any populated area without running afoul of that statute. And it defines "school" without any regard to whether school activities are actually being conducted, but only in regard to the scope of the real estate that such activities are conducted upon.

    I think it's nuts, myself, but here it is:

    =====

    U.S. Code: 18 U.S.C. § 921
    ...(25) The term "school zone" means -
    (A) in, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school; or
    (B) within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school.

    U.S. Code: 18 U.S.C. § 922
    (2)
    (A) It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

    =====
    Some where I read there is a statement in the law having to do with "possesion of a state licenses" or something. There are those who say that the Concealed carry permit (whatever the state may choose to call it) meets that requirement of the Fed law.

    There is also a provision for those who live within a 100 feet of a school which allows them to keep firearms on their property and move them in and out of said property as long as they do not step on the school property.

    I would also go as far as saying if a LEO wanted to be a ???hole he or she could do so without worrying about if I carried in church/to a building with a [Sunday] School.

  13. #57
    Senior Member Array community's Avatar
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    In Michigan, a church is a gun free zone unless the paster, minister, Priest, rabbi, etc. allows you to.

  14. #58
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    I do carry in church, but limit what I carry to true pocket pistols. There is too much "hugging" to wear my usual OWB rig, and it would be difficult to explain if someone felt the presence of something larger than a cell phone on my belt.
    A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

  15. #59
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    I agree with the prevailing sentiment here. If it's legal, I'm all for it. There's a verse in the 22nd chapter of Luke (can't remember which, though) in which Jesus tells his disciples that if they had no sword, to sell their cloaks and buy one.

  16. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by miklcolt45 View Post
    Show us where it says "Sunday" schools.
    It says private, parochial, public, not Sunday.

    The Chief of Police here in town sent me an email saying we should never have another meeting without someone present who is armed.
    I also suspect he knows the laws of FL.

    I am not trying to be disagreeable. I want to follow the law, even when asinine, as is sometimes the case.

    But, do I believe you? Or, my attorney who has been in contact with our State Attorney's office? Or, the Chief of Police?

    Oh, well, I certainly don't take it personally, and you should do what you think is best. As I said, prosecutorial discretion is a big part of whether there will be any enforcement of that statute.

    But as to the legal language question, I'm thinking "Sunday school" is comprised within the definitions of both "private" and "parochial" schools. An attempt to make a distinction on the basis of the content of instruction isn't going to go anywhere. It doesn't specify "welding shops" or "marine science laboratories", either, but if people are being instructed in those places as a significant division of their operations, then I'd say they're "schools". On the other hand, new employee training in the fresh vegetables section of the Safeway doesn't make the Safeway into a "school". If the mission is instruction, it's a school; if the schooling is incidental to the mission, it's not a school. That's how I see it. If the folks where you live aren't interested, all the better for you.

    I still think the statute ought to be changed. Perhaps to clarify the definition to comply with your perception of it.

    A lot of people, and attorneys along with the actual humans, do things on the basis of a sort of "what's really going on here" kind of analysis. The flip side of that is the assumption, "I don't care about no stinkin' rules". Most people will apply the "no harm no foul" rule, and there's not going to be any enforcement of any statute at all if no one in the church complains and you don't do anything silly with your gun. And if no one ever sees it or knows it's there unless and until the "bad guy" comes in to start shooting the parishioners, you'll never have a problem. On the other hand, if someone thinks you're carrying and goes to the sheriff's office to complain about what a dangerous person you are, it's theoretically possible that you could have to deal with the rules as (badly) written.

    I'm just doing a "heads up", here. I, personally, am all in favor of your carrying in church; but I couldn't recommend that you do so, because I believe you could well be guilty of a felony for doing so. If you're willing to take the risk, more power to you. My main point is that badly written statutes like this one turn otherwise socially responsible, self-reliant, and law-abiding citizens into criminals.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    Nothing I say as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice. Legal questions should be presented to a competent attorney licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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