Gunmen for Jesus | Arkansas Blog

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: , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

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…

  • The long and winding road: No exception yet for 30 Crossing

    The Arkansas highway department's representative on the Metroplan board of directors told the board today that the department is requesting an exception to the planning agency's cap on six lanes for its 30 Crossing project to widen Interstate 30 from six to 10 (and more) lanes.
    • Jun 29, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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