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Thread: Churches

  1. #1
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    § 18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.

    If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    That is the exact wording in the Virginia Code regarding carrying in churches. I wanted to know in what way anyone takes that to mean. I have never carried ina church before, but I think thatit could be argued that it is legal.

    First of all,the wording I highlighted "without good and sufficient reason" is very bad. It isvery open to different opinions as to what a "good and sufficient reason" is. That is where I thinkit could be contested that, being prepared for the unexpected is a "good and sufficient reason." Isn't that the reason most people have for carrying a gun in the first place? Most people don't carry just when they plan to get mugged or when they think they may encounter a phycopathic mass killer;they carry just in case they do come across one of these circumstances.

    This all came to mymind after hearing about the latest crime committed in a church. 5 defenseless personswere killed in a church in Louisiana, and unfortunately this is not the only similar crime that comes to resent memory.

    1. Only about 2 months ago a mother an child were killedat a church in Detroit.

    2. About the same time as #1 there was a report from D.C. that a string of entire churchcongregations were being robbed at gun point.

    3. About a year ago 7 were slain at a church in Wisconsin.

    4. About 18 months ago a preacher was shot and killed while he was preaching at a church in Philadelphia.

    And these are just resent crimes that were both reported and come to my memory.

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    Administrator John Pierce's Avatar
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    While I usually have a jacket on during normal church service (and am thus concealed carrying), I have open carried to more church picnics, childrens functions, showers, dinners, etc at my church than I could count.

    I also open carried to both my mothers and brothers funeral last year (I said goodbye the same way they always saw me; carrying a gun)

    Church carry (as I interpret the statute) is certainly legal as long as you are not asked by an authorized agent of the church (which is private property after all) to leave.


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    Thanks for the input. That is basically the way I read and understood the law.

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Wish I could remember where I read this arguement recently but the code prohibiting carry in church could be unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. Even the good and sufficient reason clause may be unconstitutionally vague. However, I am just a layman so no one try anything on that account. Anybody know any caselaw for what is considered good and sufficient reason? I don't think police officers are necessarily excluded from the law either, of course depending on a good and sufficient reason.

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    It goes against Amendments 1 & 2... But, that's why our lawmakers aren't called 'decision-makers'... Nothing is black or white. Everything is gray, because it benefits everyone this way!!!

    molonlabetn

    In pace, ut sapiens, aptarit idonea bello

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    It's against the law to carry in a church in Louisiana, even with a concealed permit. That inclusion never really made sense. Bars, courthouses, schools... they make sense. Churches?

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    Yet another example of a crazy law. I have also wondered who gets to determine "without good and sufficient reason".Is it me? The LEO's? God help us, the lawyers?

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    This law sounds more like a law past when lawyers were alot less and common sense was alot more. Good and Sufficent reason is probably that, do you have a good and sufficent reason in your mind to carry? If the church doesn't prohibit it and with all the crime going on in churches, do you fill it required to carry in churches?

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    i frequently carry concealed at evening or night church functions. i dont expect an leo encounter but should i have one i will mention the location of the church is not great. i figure if a serious threat is approaching and i have to draw, well thats my sufficient reason. i would open carry but i am on the worship team. im afraid that seeing my gun would take peoples minds off of God.

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    I asked my uncle about this but I wanted to get y'alls opinion on it as well.

    A church that I frequently go to had been broken into several times over the past couple weeks (how low can you get, breaking into a CHURCH?!?!) and the other night I was asked to be on gaurd duty for a little while. It was my understanding that with good and sufficient reason, it was legal to OC in a church. I normally wouldn't do this but being on gaurd duty, I felt I needed to be prepared. So I went home and got my taurus 627. I was going to be there with a marine who had a CHP and was carrying concealed. I asked him if OC in a church was legal and he said no. I thought that he was wrong but since he was armed, I didn't press the issue and locked my weapon in the trunk of my car.

    Now I know for a fact the pastor wouldn't mind me carrying, especially in the situation I was in. I know this because I overheard him admitting that he himself carryied a gun a couple times that he was on gaurd duty. The church has now got an alarm system and I don't forsee this situation ever presenting itself again. But I want to be absolutely certain, in the situation above, it would've been legal to OC, correct? Thanks.

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    Founder's Club Member OC-Glock19's Avatar
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    "Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

    :shock:

    Jesus would have open carried.

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    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    "Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

    :shock:

    Jesus would have open carried.
    That's funny as hell but doesn't really help much. I'm gonna be laughing at that one all night.

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    357luvr wrote:
    I asked my uncle about this but I wanted to get y'alls opinion on it as well.

    A church that I frequently go to had been broken into several times over the past couple weeks (how low can you get, breaking into a CHURCH?!?!) and the other night I was asked to be on gaurd duty for a little while. It was my understanding that with good and sufficient reason, it was legal to OC in a church. I normally wouldn't do this but being on gaurd duty, I felt I needed to be prepared. So I went home and got my taurus 627. I was going to be there with a marine who had a CHP and was carrying concealed. I asked him if OC in a church was legal and he said no. I thought that he was wrong but since he was armed, I didn't press the issue and locked my weapon in the trunk of my car.

    Now I know for a fact the pastor wouldn't mind me carrying, especially in the situation I was in. I know this because I overheard him admitting that he himself carryied a gun a couple times that he was on gaurd duty. The church has now got an alarm system and I don't forsee this situation ever presenting itself again. But I want to be absolutely certain, in the situation above, it would've been legal to OC, correct? Thanks.
    I think it's very fimmy that the other guy said that he could carry concealed, but you couldn't carry open.

    Read 18.2-203 as quoted in the first message of this thread.
    --- without good and sufficient reason
    --- while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place

    Sounds like you had good and sufficient reason and Sunday service wasn't going on in the background.

    I probably would have offered to call the pastor if he put up a stink about it. Sitting guard duty is exactly when I would want to be armed!

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    357luvr wrote:
    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    "Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

    :shock:

    Jesus would have open carried.
    That's funny as hell but doesn't really help much. I'm gonna be laughing at that one all night.
    It is a real quote. Luke 22, I think. And I agree with Brother OC-Glock19 - I do believe that Jesus would have OC'ed.

  15. #15
    Arizonatexan
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    Well, I'll be ... ! You learn something new everyday! What a good scripture for those who like to look down their noses at us who believe in arming ourselves for protection! OC-Glock19's Biblical quote comes from Luke 22:36. It's interesting, though that, in verse 38 the disciples showed Jesus that they had two swords and he said "That's enough." Then in verse 50, after one of them cuts aguys ear off, Jesus puts the guys ear back on and says: "No more of this!" So...maybe it wasn't a case of clear and present danger after all ormaybe Jesus is setting the precedent here for when to use deadly force.

    This is not a religious forum - but it's interesting nevertheless...

    Arizona-Texan

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    While I was back in Virginia this summer I went shooting with a defense attorney who goes to church with my parents. He has his CHP, carries regularly, and is very pro-RKBA. I was wondering about the issue of carrying at a religious service, so I asked him what his interpretation was of the "good and sufficient reason" clause.

    He confirmed my suspicion that it would most likely not be interpreted in the carrier's favor unless he had a specific threat that had been made against him. Of course, he also mentioned that "concealed means concealed" and "better tried by 12 than carried by 6," both of which are my feeling as well.

    I really like how Texans think about carry in church. When the CHL law was originally passed, churches were specifically prohibited for carry. A few years later there was a shooting in a church in Forth Worth where 8 people were killed. Following that incident, a number of pastors lobbied succesfully to have the law changed so that they could carry to protect their flocks. Churches here are now no longer prohibited unless posted in accordance with Texas law.

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    hirundo82 wrote:
    While I was back in Virginia this summer I went shooting with a defense attorney who goes to church with my parents. He has his CHP, carries regularly, and is very pro-RKBA. I was wondering about the issue of carrying at a religious service, so I asked him what his interpretation was of the "good and sufficient reason" clause.

    He confirmed my suspicion that it would most likely not be interpreted in the carrier's favor unless he had a specific threat that had been made against him. Of course, he also mentioned that "concealed means concealed" and "better tried by 12 than carried by 6," both of which are my feeling as well.

    I really like how Texans think about carry in church. When the CHL law was originally passed, churches were specifically prohibited for carry. A few years later there was a shooting in a church in Forth Worth where 8 people were killed. Following that incident, a number of pastors lobbied succesfully to have the law changed so that they could carry to protect their flocks. Churches here are now no longer prohibited unless posted in accordance with Texas law.
    I like the sound of that. I think churches are included because many think of them as "places of sanctuary". However, as we know, criminals do not regard churches this way. All the more reason to be prepared. Also, in addition to Luke 22:36, see Psalm 144.

    ProguninTN

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    WWJP - what would Jesus pack?

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    robbiev427 wrote:
    WWJP - what would Jesus pack?
    Um, the wrath of God?

    Could be the largest caliber ever.

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    357luvr wrote:
    I asked my uncle about this but I wanted to get y'alls opinion on it as well.

    A church that I frequently go to had been broken into several times over the past couple weeks (how low can you get, breaking into a CHURCH?!?!) and the other night I was asked to be on gaurd duty for a little while. It was my understanding that with good and sufficient reason, it was legal to OC in a church. I normally wouldn't do this but being on gaurd duty, I felt I needed to be prepared. So I went home and got my taurus 627. I was going to be there with a marine who had a CHP and was carrying concealed. I asked him if OC in a church was legal and he said no. I thought that he was wrong but since he was armed, I didn't press the issue and locked my weapon in the trunk of my car.

    Now I know for a fact the pastor wouldn't mind me carrying, especially in the situation I was in. I know this because I overheard him admitting that he himself carryied a gun a couple times that he was on gaurd duty. The church has now got an alarm system and I don't forsee this situation ever presenting itself again. But I want to be absolutely certain, in the situation above, it would've been legal to OC, correct? Thanks.
    I have two points to make on this particular situation.

    1. The onlyordinance in the state code regarding carry in churches is limited to a time "while a meeting for religious purposes is being held." If I understand your situation, you where not there during a service, therefor the law would not apply.

    2. The state ordinance does not say anything at all about the weapon being concealed or openly carried, therefor all other state laws regarding concealed and open carried weapons should apply, meaning that open carry should be legal.

    3. And an extra point, you may want to look at some of the earlier post in this thread regarding arguments for what is a "good and sufficient reason" to carry during a religious services.

    *Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer.


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    cs9c1 wrote:
    robbiev427 wrote:
    WWJP - what would Jesus pack?
    Um, the wrath of God?

    Could be the largest caliber ever.
    Now *THAT* may have a great one-shot-stop ratio.

  22. #22
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    cs9c1 wrote:
    robbiev427 wrote:
    WWJP - what would Jesus pack?
    Um, the wrath of God?

    Could be the largest caliber ever.
    This reminds me .....

    As I have mentioned on here before, I do Cowboy Mounted Shooting. For last Easter, I wrote a poem for the Pastor's Corner section of the cowboy mounted shooting magazine Rundown where I explored this very issue.

    For those who are interested (or those who simply want to see how bad a poet I am ), it follows:

    [line]
    A Cowboy's Easter - By John Pierce
    ------------------------------------------
    Last night I dreamt I had run my race
    And reached the finish line
    And walked the darkened desert path
    That waits for all in time

    And when I reached the trailhead there
    I was rounded up and penned
    Inside the ranch that's called The Grave
    The destiny of men

    Well, the ramrod was a wicked man
    His name was simply Death
    Who ruled over all the herd
    Of those who once drew breath

    And In the center of the ranch
    Was a spring of water sweet
    That sang to us of life anew
    As we suffered in the heat

    But struggle though we tried and tried
    We never could get near
    The ramrod had a gun of fire
    And a whip of solid fear

    But when our hopes had died away
    And turned into despair
    A mighty wondrous thing occured
    For all the mortals there

    A cowboy rode into the ranch
    And the ramrod seemed to pale
    For this had never happened
    But he had heard the tale

    For ancient legend had it
    That one day a man would ride
    Down the dark and twisted path
    With a wound upon his side

    And his hands would also bear twin scars
    And his hat would hide a crown
    And he would take this ranch
    And he would cast it down

    Now this cowboy really looked the part
    His shirt was stained with blood
    And his reins were also slick with it
    Where he held them in his gloves

    But battle weary though he was
    His eyes held naught of fear
    And all of us who saw him
    Knew salvation was near

    And though the ramrod had been called
    Pale Rider as you know
    Never had he looked so pale
    As he faced his mighty foe

    And the cowboy swung down from his horse
    And he faced the man called Death
    And all of Heaven and of Earth
    They all just held their breath

    And the cowboy spoke to Death
    And everyone could hear
    "Do not mistake me for the lamb.
    I am a lion here."

    "The price I paid to walk this path
    Was steep, but gladly paid.
    And now I call you out
    For your destiny is laid."

    And on his hip a sixgun shone
    Forged by divinity
    And on his holster was a brand
    The mark of Trinity

    And Death went for his gun of fire
    But the cowboy was too fast
    And in a flash of blessed light
    The age of Death was past



  23. #23
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    cs9c1 wrote:
    robbiev427 wrote:
    WWJP - what would Jesus pack?
    Um, the wrath of God?

    Could be the largest caliber ever.
    A glock no doubt. Perfect gun for man on the move, lots of ammo in one magazine and extreme relability.

    /me starts running away from 1911 horde.

  24. #24
    Arizonatexan
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    jpierce - what a nice poem! I'm impressed! That's a keeper. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Arizona-Texan

  25. #25
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    To be responsible for yourself and be a protector of the flock ought to be the norm for true believers in Him and not set aside in His house. Did I say that? Wow!
    P.S. Great poem Yata hey
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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