Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gunmen for Jesus

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 11:44 AM

COMING TO CHURCHES SOON: We came up with this after gun enthusiasts began threatening us several years ago.
  • COMING TO CHURCHES SOON: We came up with this after gun 'enthusiasts' began threatening us several years ago.
A House committee this morning endorsed Sen. Bryan King's bill to allow guns in church, if the churches approve, which means final action is close at hand. Gov. Mike Beebe says he'll sign it.

Some day, I think conflicts will arise

Why?

Because the bill couldn't be more general. The repealer of the prohibition in the concealed carry law says:

However, this subchapter does not preclude a church or other place of worship from determining who may carry a concealed handgun into the church or other place of worship;

Suppose a pistol packer gets reported and arrested for carrying his heater into the little church of which I'm a member. (I won't embarrass it by mentioning the congregation or speak too presumptively, but I'd be very surprised if it joined a rush to permit guns in the sanctuary.) Must the church really post a sign at every door to give fair warning to Pistol Pete? At the main door? Fellowship hall? Daycare center? Chapel? Office building? It'll be an unseemly decoration on a place of peace, not exactly a fish or dove or cross. But the law doesn't allow the elders to simply vote a ban. They must make an outward and visible sign. To bar guns, a church must:

(19) (A) Any place at the discretion of the person or entity exercising control over the physical location of the place by placing at each entrance to the place a written notice clearly readable at a distance of not less than ten feet (10) that “carrying a handgun is prohibited”.

(B) (i) If the place does not have a roadway entrance, there shall be a written notice placed anywhere upon the premises of the place.

Since most churches have roadway entrances, sounds like the "each entrance" standard will apply. Does it apply to freestanding gyms at "churches or places of worship"? Lot of angels need to dance on the head of this legislative pin.

PS — Gun nuts say I have it all wrong. They say that the law keeps guns illegal in church unless a church votes otherwise and that no notice is required either way. I'm not buying that easy alibi. ... How is a visitor to know — or even a backslider who doesn't attend his own church very often? The obvious course for protection is to follow the notice required in the very same statute. To announce that guns are banned. Or to say they are permitted and to what extent. Otherwise, churches hold themselves up to great risks by people making assumptions. Dangerous business, assumptions.

Think of it this way, gun nuts. If it's a religious violation to make a rule pertaining to churches (the earlier ban on guns) and not others, it's a government establishment of religion to free ONLY churches from the notice requirement.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (47)

Showing 1-47 of 47

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-47 of 47

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Matt Campbell files ethics complaint against Dennis Milligan

    Little Rock attorney and blogger Matt Campbell, whose knack for deep research brought down Mark Darr, Mike Maggio and Dexter Suggs, now has his sights trained on another worthy target. Today, he filed a 113-page ethics complaint against state Treasurer Dennis Milligan that includes 14 separate allegations.
    • Aug 20, 2015
  • A response to police arrests becomes a tutorial on race, class and policing in Little Rock

    John Walker, the 79-year-old civil rights lawyer, and his associate, Omavi Shukur, 29, a young lawyer devoted to criminal justice reform, talked to press this afternoon about their arrests Monday by Little Rock police for supposedly obstructing governmental operations in observing and attempting to film a routine police traffic stop. It was a tutorial on sharp views of race, class and governance in Little Rock.
    • Sep 29, 2016
  • Rutledge refuses open records of fired trooper who now leads ABC enforcement

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge yesterday refused to allow release of records that explain the 2000 firing of Boyce Hamlet as a state trooper.
    • Sep 1, 2015

Most Shared

  • Constituents go Cotton pickin' at Springdale town hall

    Sen. Tom Cotton, cordial to a fault, appeared before a capacity crowd at the 2,200 seat Pat Walker Performing Arts Center at Springdale High tonight to a mixed chorus of clapping and boos. Other than polite applause when he introduced his mom and dad and a still moment as he led the crowd in a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance — his night didn't get much better from there.
  • Petition calls for Jason Rapert Sewage Tanks in Conway

    A tribute is proposed for Conway's state senator Jason Rapert: naming the city's sewage sludge tanks for him. Petitioners see a similarity.

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation