To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

An Armed Society Is A Spiritual Society

This does bring to mind the obvious question: What Would Jesus pack?
LITTLE ROCK — A bill to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry handguns into churches headed to the House floor Tuesday with a committee’s endorsement.

The House Judiciary Committee advanced House Bill 1237 by Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Cedarville, on a voice vote.

“Outside of six hours of worship a week, our church is a workplace. But the law forbidding concealed carry in churches is in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said pastor Nathan Petty of the Beech Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Fordyce, testifying for the measure.

Petty told the committee he recently heard a gunshot from an armed robbery in the area. The pastor said he has a concealed carry permit but does not take a gun into church because of a moral obligation to follow the law of the land — until and unless the law conflicts with his religious beliefs.

He also said a parishioner who cleans the church late at night is alone there. She has a permit but does not carry her gun for the same reason, he said.
The 1995 concealed carry permit law specifically prohibits concealed weapons in places of worship. HB 1237 would allow them but also would allow a congregation to ban guns from the church. If the church prohibits carrying, it would have to display a sign at its entrance saying so under the provisions of the bill.

Speaking for the bill, Grant Exton, executive director for the Arkansas Concealed Carry Association, said all but two states allow concealed carry weapons into churches. Of those, 42 allow churches the option of banning the weapons on their premises, he said.

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