That’s the question isn’t it? It would be horrible if you had to defend yourself in church and then ended up in jail or on the wrong side of a lawsuit, wouldn’t you agree?
There has been a lot of misinformation regarding carrying a concealed firearm in church and I wanted to clear it up for both the good of the church and the congregation.
Please pass this along to others in your church, family, and friends in an effort to help clear up any confusion on this matter. I’m writing this in an effort to protect both the church and its members from finding themselves in a legal jam due to a lack of knowledge or previously misunderstood information on this subject.
Louisiana Revised Statute 40:1379.3 (Louisiana law) covers the carrying of a concealed firearm in the state of Louisiana. Section U specifically explains what steps must be taken for a citizen with a concealed handgun permit to legally in a house of worship. In a nutshell there are 3 things that must happen.
1. The church must grant permission to each person who they will allow to carry a concealed firearm on their property and make the proper notifications within their church.
2. The person carrying the firearm must obtain a Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit and maintain it as current by attending a concealed handgun permit training class every 5 years.
3. Any person(s) carrying a firearm in the church must attend 8 hours of additional tactical training annually.
So, #3 is the part that causes the most confusion. It is not enough for a person to have a concealed handgun permit AND the permission of the preacher, pastor, priest, etc. They must also obtain 8 additional hours of verifiable training annually.
You can also view the law and rules in its entirety here http://www.lsp.org/pdf/chRuleBook.pdf specifically on page 12 in Section U (5).
Below I’ve copied LRS 40:1379.3, Section U, where the law specifically explains what must happen in order for a person to carry a firearm in a house of worship. Please pay close attention to (5) below.
(1) The entity which owns the business or has authority over the administration of a church, synagogue, or mosque shall have the authority to authorize any person issued a valid concealed handgun permit as authorized by the provisions of this Section to carry a concealed handgun in the church, synagogue, or mosque.
(2) The provisions of this Subsection shall not be construed to limit or prohibit any church, synagogue, or mosque from employing armed security guards who are either certified law enforcement officers or who are authorized to carry concealed handguns pursuant to the provisions of this Section.
(3) If the church, synagogue, or mosque authorizes the carrying of concealed handguns as authorized by the provisions of this Subsection, the pastor, priest, minister, or other authority of the church, synagogue, or mosque shall inform the congregation of the authorization.
(4) The provisions of this Section shall not be construed to authorize the carrying of a concealed handgun in a church, synagogue, or mosque located on the property of any school or school property, which would otherwise be prohibited by the provisions of R.S. 14:95.2.
(5) Any church, synagogue, or mosque authorizing the carrying of concealed handguns pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection shall require an additional eight hour tactical training for those persons wishing to carry concealed handguns in the church, synagogue, or mosque. The training shall be conducted annually.
I teach a specialized class for congregation members and/or church staff members who have been given permission to carry concealed in church about 3-4 times per year. During the planning for my upcoming class on February 25th , I ran into several people who were under the impression that permission from their church was all that was needed. This misunderstood section of the law could cause a huge safety and legal risk to both the church and the members. Hence the reason for this post.
You can obtain further information about the church training classes I offer at http://arcschp.com/church-security-training or you can call/text me at 318.617.2829. I can also be reached by email at ARCSSelfDefense@gmail.com
I hope this letter finds you in good spirits and health. Please let me know if I can assist you in any way in the future.
Founder – ARCS Self Defense