Roll call: pastors and church workers who carry

Roll call: pastors and church workers who carry

This is a discussion on Roll call: pastors and church workers who carry within the Member Meeting Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Just kind of interested in knowing/meeting those of you who work in/with the church and carry. Not meaning to exclude the rest of you who ...

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Thread: Roll call: pastors and church workers who carry

  1. #1
    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    Mar 2008

    Roll call: pastors and church workers who carry

    Just kind of interested in knowing/meeting those of you who work in/with the church and carry. Not meaning to exclude the rest of you who are, I am sure, fine people, but for right now just interested in hearing from the church workers.

    If you'd like, maybe also state any problems/issues that have arisen as a result of you carrying? Such as certain people's perceptions or overcoming preconceived notions of what a pastor should and should not do (yes, like carrying)?

    FWIW, I'm a pastor in Michigan. Just purchased my first handgun and plan on taking a CCW class in May when the local LEO's offer it. After that (and assuming I'm accepted!) I plan on carrying most of the time. Probably even on Sunday morning. I can think of at least one person who I assume would TOTALLY freak out if they knew . . . but I'm not planning on telling them!

    Okay, so there you go! What's your story?

  2. #2
    VIP Member Array mag44laf's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Lafayette, La.

    Cool It probably varies from state to state.

    The Louisiana Concealed Carry Rule Book states that " N. No concealed handgun may be carried into and no concealed handgun permit issued
    pursuant to this Section shall authorize or entitle a permittee to carry a concealed handgun in
    any of the following:

    (8) Any church, synagogue, mosque, or other similar place of worship.

    I am not familiar with the rules and regulations of other states, it would be interesting to learn about them.

    I am a soldier in the Salvation Army, and Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of a small church in Youngsville, La.

    I am also USMC 1966-1968 and currently hold a Concealed Handgun Permit in the state of Louisiana.

    Semper Fi

  3. #3
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    Array DaveH's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    SW Virginia
    Quote Originally Posted by Rev9mm View Post
    Just kind of interested in knowing/meeting those of you who work in/with the church and carry.
    Virginia law prohibits carry in, "Places of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held "without good and sufficient reason" (§18.2-283)."

    As many Churches also have Church sponsored schools on the property, the "K-12 school property (unless unloaded in a closed container). CHP holders may possess a loaded concealed handgun while in a vehicle. (§18.2-308.1)" restriction would also apply. (§18.2-308.1) applies to all schools public, private, and Church which offer any part of a K-12 education program. It does not have to be the full range K-12. Some Churches offer daycare, Pre-K, and K. If so, the K kicks in. End of discussion. No carry.

    There is also the general restriction, "Private property when prohibited by owner (§18.2-308.O)" to consider.

    I'm not a Pastor.

    I do volunteer work at two Churches, part-time.

    I work at a soup kitchen which operates out of a Church. The Pastor asked I not carry there. I treat it as it is private property, in this regard, even though there is no meeting for religious purposes is being held. I don't carry there.

    I attend, usher and assist at services at another Church. I also do some limited handyman work there at other "non-meeting for religious purposes" times.

    So, what does "good and sufficient reason" mean? Some here in VA argue that the Homeland Security warning that places of worship a potential targets is good and sufficient reason to carry. Some argue that the danger going to and from, when coupled with the risk of unloading in the car, etc is good and sufficient reason. Others point to the issue of the shooting in (where was it? Texas???) is good and sufficient reason. There may be some case law, but I haven't found it.

    Therefore, I work on the assumption that until someone tells me different, I have "good and sufficient reason" during services, and no restriction at other times.

    IMHO, It's the Pastor's or the Board's (or whom ever hold the deed to the property) call -- under the private property rule.

    As you are the Pastor....

    I would suggest that you consider that you are likely to get made -- especially if yours is a Church where there is a fair amount of hugging and the like.

    In which case, you might want to be prepared to handle it.
    Last edited by DaveH; March 31st, 2008 at 11:08 AM. Reason: To clarify (§18.2-308.1)
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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array Gunnutty's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    I pastor a Missionary Baptist Church. Have been there for 23 years now. I carry anywhere I can legally. We swap guns in the parking lot after church sometimes so carrying is not a problem for me.
    We will be much better off when we learn to deal with things as they really are, instead of how we wish them to be!

  6. #5
    Member Array Rev9mm's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by mag44laf View Post
    I am not familiar with the rules and regulations of other states, it would be interesting to learn about them.
    Michigan CCW rules state in part:
    Individuals licensed to carry a concealed pistol by Michigan or another state are prohibited from carrying a concealed pistol on the following premises:

    . . . Any property or facility owned or operated by a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship, unless the presiding official allows concealed weapons
    . . .

    Since the "presiding official" makes the call, I guess I can carry if I say that I can!

    There is a fairly broad list of other "pistol-free" areas. Seems like reasonable restrictions with reasonable leeway. Check it out at: MSP - Pistol Free Areas

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array Gideon's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Hi, I pastor a small country church in rural Missouri. You have to have permission from the leadership in Missouri and in our congregations, and for this purpose its me. I carry everywhere I can legally including at church.

    I understand your concerns. A lot of folks have very strong notions about how their pastor ought to dress, act, etc. And we're not to put a stumbling block infront of them even if we have liberty to do something. So I keep it VERY private. No one knows, nor do they need to. I did feel very strange preaching the first few times carrying. I even wondered if it showed some lack of faith (silly I know) but I got over that. I'm extremely cautious on how well concealed I am and I don't talk about it or show my gun to guys after services although we'll look at a guys new deer rifle at the back of his truck after services

    Now I'm totally comfortable about it and one other member just took their class and is applying for his permit. He's talked to me about it and even borrowed a revolver for his class. I've let him know it's okay to carry but encouraged him to never discuss it with anyone.

    I believe most folks would be okay but it's touchy with one or two.

    A few years ago I wanted to get a motorcycle. I was worried about how some of the older folks would look at that. It went okay but they worry about their pastor which is nice. The gun might not be the same for some.

    I've learned to be very effective at concealing my weapon and as a result of the sensitivities I gravitate towards smaller weapons that are flatter. Current carry is a Kahr MK9. It's a bit heavy but shoots great, gives me 7 rounds of 9mm I can put where I choose and it's so compact and thin that it doesn't print under my suit at all.

    Anyway, good to meet you all!

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array miklcolt45's Avatar
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    @ Wits' End
    I pastor a United Methodist Church in FL.
    I have had my CWFL for approximately 9 months now.

    I have not yet carried on Sunday, but am trying to figure out the best way to do so. (Something that happened today has upped the sense of urgency). I have one of those 'huggy' churches (partially my fault ), so I am concerned about getting 'outed.' While not a small church by most standards, it is small enough that those in the first rows would certainly be wondering what those 2 plastic clips on my belt are.

    FL law does not list churches as Target Rich Environ..., er, excuse me, Gun-Free Zones. So, I'm good to go as I can figure what works best for me.

    Welcome to the forum. Good to have another shepherd who is not a .
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott

    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
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  9. #8
    Member Array takurpic's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    I'm not a pastor, but I do help in our worship band (guitar, bass, soundman, etc.)

    I've played in front of 350 people while carrying a G27 or G23 in a Smart Carry or an MTAC IWB. Our church is pretty laid back regarding dress code, so I wear an untucked shirt with either method of carry.

    Of course, the Smart Carry is more condusive to hugging environments, though not quite as comfortable for me as the MTAC.

    To my knowledge, nobody knows that I carry except for my wife, parents, and sister, so I haven't had to deal with any issues in that area.

  10. #9
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    I am not a pastor, but am the worship leader of our church. I stand behind the pulpit every Sunday making announcements, praying, and leading singing. I stand out from behind it to sing. I have been carrying in church for about 2 years now. I have the Colt Mustang in the left front pocket at all times.

    Since we are a country church my dress varies from Sunday to Sunday. Today I had on Dockers and a dress shirt sans tie. Last Sunday being Easter I had on a coat and tie and had the Bulldog in a K&D Laredo OWB. If I wear a tie I and no coat I carry the Bulldog in the right front pocket. Since I carry a phone and other items on the belt no one notices if they bump into an object when I have the coat on. With the tie to distract the eye no one seems to see that my right front pocket is a little thicker than usual and my keys are hanging on my belt. Someone has asked about the keys when I didn't have the tie. My wife has her Kahr CW9 with her at church.

    We both also work in a church owned college. After VA Tech the administration pressed the trustees to issue a statement about firearms. There has always been a restriction on students, but faculty, staff, and administration had not been restricted. The new rules proved that church related college admin is no brighter than public and now there is a restriction on the faculty, staff, and admin. The faculty was not happy about it, not because many of them carry, but because they saw it as an indication of mistrust. I agree. The restriction clearly states that you cannot carry, but does not say that you cannot have a weapon on campus. My wife locks hers in her Center of Mass Auto Gun Safe when she gets to campus and gets it back out when she gets back in the car. I did the same for several months until I became a reserve police officer. Now I carry the badge and the weapon. It's a shame that I have to do it that way, but it is better than the alternative.

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

  11. #10
    Member Array hickatheart's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    If I was the pastor:

    Dear Pastor Hick at heart:
    I greatly wish to carry a concealed weapon in church because . .
    Pastor Hick at heart

    Dear Hick at heart:
    please feel free to carry during service and at other church functions. I also encourage you to carry at all times outside of church.
    Pastor Hick at heart

  12. #11
    Member Array rainmaker's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Southwest Ohio
    I'm an elder and trustee, serve as an armorbearer to my pastor, and have carried during every service for about a year now. Usually IWB/tuckable or ankle holster if warm weather. Our church, too, does a lot of hugging, but so far not an issue and no comments. My having a CHL is no secret, but I take care and don't make a big deal about it. I sometimes feel a little exposed when I go down for prayer, since folks come down and lay on hands, but my small group leader (who has a CHL) usually gets there and covers me (physically and spiritually).

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array PackerBackerToo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    I teach SS and sing in the choir. I carry at almost every service or meeting I attend.

    Generally, I carry a PM9 in my pocket, but have carried a G22 and P220 in both IWB and OWB holsters.

  14. #13
    New Member Array Fendernut's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Enterprise, AL

    Carrying in Church

    I recently recieved my CCW permit here in AL. I carry my Kel-Tec P3AT with me in my front right pocket everywhere. I use an Active Pro Gear pocket holster, works great in front or back. I play in the band and teach Sunday school, no one other than my wife knows I carry there and it'll stay that way. I suspect that there are others but I won't pursue that, it is thier right and choice.
    Ruger SR9
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  15. #14
    Senior Member Array Holdcard's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Phoenix, Az.
    In Arizona we have no statute requiring us not to carry at church or church functions and no requirement to disclose or attain permission.

    When I was regularly attending a church I ran the sound board and was armed. The pastor and one other shooting partner were the only ones that knew. The pastor only knew because we shot regularly together. No one ever noticed (even the huggers)

    We no longer serve at a church during services, now we do a food ministry on Saturdays. My wife and I always carry then. We have homeless and those in recovery (read felons). We never know what will happen, or who will show up.

    I do a little mini sermon and many times will use firearms in the sermon. The host church has no problem with me carrying and to the best of my knowledge no one has ever picked up on my carry status.

    I also regularly offer a shooting outing to those who come. I do ask if the have a felony before I take them.

    (if you want to know more, follow the link in the signature)
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  16. #15
    Member Array bluedaisy's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Obviously not a pastor here, but I do teach a class for 4year olds every Wed night, with my xd9 secured safely on my hip. I don't have a way to carry on my person with a dress on, so my husband usually has the 9 with him on Sundays. Once he gets his own, I'll have to carry in my purse on Sundays. Not my choice of carry, but I'd rather have it than not! We also work in an addictions ministry on Fri nights. Whomever gets to the gun first gets to wear it.

    Our church is large, and there are many who carry there. The pastors are aware of who carries, but it's generally kept quiet. It's comforting to see that the people who carry, are always watching the doors, etc. I don't think any of the pastors carry.

    No one knows we carry, and it's cool that no one would even suspect it either.

    I'm thankful to live in PA where I can carry in church. I do have concerns about church shootings as people become more and more hostile.
    Last edited by bluedaisy; April 7th, 2008 at 12:48 PM. Reason: added info.
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