This is a discussion on CCW in church an insurance question. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by BillG174 The church I attend has a membership of 23,000. I am on the security team and although I have a Kansas ...
Many, many business establishments have posted their premises to prohibit firearms. This is very commonly done as a means of distancing the business entity from claims of liability in the event of an unfortunate act. Employee used a firearm against an active felon? Employee violated company policy, thus acted outside the scope of employment, and the employer cannot be held liable. Customer with licensed concealed carry piece acted in defense of self or others? Customer violated company policy, thus the company cannot be held liable for unauthorized acts.
Your church has a security committee with specific members authorized to carry firearms on the premises in the event of a serious criminal act? Whether those members are active or retired cops means next to nothing at the courthouse, they are acting on behalf of the church and the church might well be held liable. Even if the church carries liability insurance specifically covering acts of staff or authorized personnel in providing security, when a claim arises the insurance company's first response will be to disavow liability and distance the insurance company from the specific acts of the individual, perhaps claiming that the LEO member was actually performing public duties on behalf of his employing agency and not as a member of the church.
I'm not at all sure that these things can be fully insured to any degree. Individual policies will probably invite insurers to disavow actions taken as part of an organized church security team. Church policies will probably invite insurers to disavow members actions as beyond the scope of responsibilities or duties.
We live in modern North America. Whenever anything ugly happens there will be litigation seeking the deepest pockets available, and those with the pockets will be trying to pass the buck.
Try walking into your friendly neighborhood insurance agent's office and explaining that you plan on serving on a 2300 member church's security team while armed with a deadly weapon, and when the worst possible thing happens you want someone to open up the checkbook to make all claims go away. The premium you pay will probably be nothing because no company is going to issue the policy.
I agree with Cypher, Brotherhood Mutual specializes in this and has tons of resources to help you get a team started and for a current team. That is what is used at the church I attend. It definitely doesn't hurt to have personal coverage as well. I have US Lawshield and thankfully have never had to use it, but I know someone who did and they were a tremendous help to him. Good luck!
Beretta 92 FS Compact Inox
CZ 2075 RAMI
1. Carry by officially sanctioned members of the church administration, including pastor, elders, and deacons. This is where the church administration says, "We would like to allow or sanction members of the church leadership to carry." The inherent minimum standard is that it's done with both their "knowledge and approval.
2. Carry by a member of the church as a member of the church, with or without the knowledge of official church leadership. They may have knowledge of it, but approval is tacit or less by virtue of never having taken an official position on it. It's precisely the same as a store who has not posted his location, so some people may be carrying or they may not.
Obviously, their involvement would vary significantly depending on both your state laws and the actual insurance contract. This is where your church should seek the advice of an attorney, specifically asking the question:We've consulted with the church's insurance co and this is something that has yet to be tested within the company policies (shooting someone at church)...
Which, if any, is the best scenario with respect to church liability?
a. Expressly prohibit all carry by stating so in all practical forums i.e. church website, weekly bulletins/programs, posting at entrances
a(1). Prohibit CC only
a(2). Prohibit OC only
b. Allow all carry via "silence is consent."
c. Expressly allow all carry by the same disclosure as in a.
Don't ask lawyers about the best way to protect your church from an active shooter. That's outside their area of expertise. For that, ask a profession in physical and/or personnel security.
I think you'll find that if it is lawful to carry a firearm in church in your state, b. is probably your best answer if you want to allow people to carry. If any patron asks, "May I carry in your church," the only answer then becomes, "That's up to you."
Interestingly enough, adding a rider to the church's insurance policy can in some cases increase your liability, as it's an acknowledgement that the church a) knew of carry, b) approved of carry, and c) provided coverage for those who carry. Courts often translate c) to mean "assumed responsibility for those who carry," so any settlement exceeds coverage, the church may be held accountable for the difference....and they've recommended we seek out a purchase of Personal Coverage for this who carry from those who carry.
Again, I recommend you seek the counsel of an attorney specializing in liability insurance.
How many times must we see defenseless people die before we realize being defenseless is NOT the answer? // The First protects the Second and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect everything else.