The Mississippi state senate has just passed a bill they are calling the Mississippi Church Protection Act, this bill would “…allow a church to have a sergeant-at-arms to protect the church body”, ultimately the bill would allow churches “to train members to carry guns and act as security guards during religious services – and exempt them from legal action if they use their weapons”. Supporters of the bill like Mississippi state senator, Sean Tindell (R), says the bill would prevent massacre’s like the one that occurred in Charleston, South Carolina. Church leaders in the state of Mississippi have praised the bill, Pastor Larry Dean of the Bridgetown Baptist Church told the Daily Beast “The reality is that we’re a soft target…anyone can carry a weapon at any time and of whatever evil they are going to do…”
Opponents of the bill says it crosses multiple lines because not only does sit allow churches to have armed guards, it makes it legal for church patrons to carry a weapons in a concealed holster, according to the Huffington Post, part of this bill also “prohibits state officials from enforcing any federal gun regulation not passed by congress.”
Hillman Frazier, a state senator and critic of the bill said to WDAM “We don’t need to pimp out the church for political purposes…if you want to pass laws to liberalize gun laws, do that. but don’t use the church to do that.
The Mississippi Police Chiefs Association have also opposed the bill, they said that “By effectively dismantling Mississippi licensing system, this bill would block law enforcement who stop an armed suspect from confirming that he isn’t a violent criminal, severely mentally ill or otherwise dangerous.” Larry T. Decker of the Secular Coalition for America named it “the worst bill in America.”, he went on to say “This legislation emboldens extremists by creating a legal means for radical preachers to enlist their congregants into ‘God’s army.”
Mississippi state Governor, Phill Bryant, now has the bill and can either sign it into law or veto it.
(Via Huffington Post)