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Thread: OC or CC at a church.... legal???

  1. #1
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    Heard a statement from a friend of mine that she said it is/has been illegal to carry into a house of worship



    Is this true?

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    There is nothing in the Arizona Revised Statutes about firearms at religious institutions. However, it is prohibited to bring a firearm on "school grounds." Many churches have schools as well often just a kindergarten program or maybe the first couple of grades. Beware of that. I OCed at a school one time unknowingly where there was a Friday night meeting held in one of the classrooms. I never thought anything about it because I assumed that it was a church, not a school. The person in charge of the meeting politely asked me to leave the weapon in the car. He said he has no issues with firearms as he is a gun owner himself but due to the fact that the church also runs an elementary school, no guns are allowed. I think the chairman handled it well instead of flipping out, nobody else seemed to think it was an issue (no school in session), and I'm pretty sure that had a cop also attended the meeting I wouldn't have gotten in any trouble. The state law does include the word "knowingly." While I did bring a firearm on to school grounds, I did not do so knowingly. It was a good educational lesson because now I know to beware when entering places of worship because a lot of them are also schools. Just a heads up on that.



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    crtbc wrote:
    Heard a statement from a friend of mine that she said it is/has been illegal to carry into a house of worship



    Is this true?
    Right after the shootings in Colorado,the Senior Pastorof mychurch asked some of the gun-owning men in the church specifically if they would carry during services. We had people CC and our secuirty team OC'd for our big Easter celebration this year as well.

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    crtbc wrote:
    Heard a statement from a friend of mine that she said it is/has been illegal to carry into a house of worship
    Others have answered your question. I wonder if your friend might have gotten this misunderstanding from the laws of your northern neighbor, Utah. It is illegal here to carry in a church that chooses to prohibit weapons.

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    protector84 wrote:
    There is nothing in the Arizona Revised Statutes about firearms at religious institutions. However, it is prohibited to bring a firearm on "school grounds." Many churches have schools as well often just a kindergarten program or maybe the first couple of grades. Beware of that. I OCed at a school one time unknowingly where there was a Friday night meeting held in one of the classrooms. I never thought anything about it because I assumed that it was a church, not a school. The person in charge of the meeting politely asked me to leave the weapon in the car. He said he has no issues with firearms as he is a gun owner himself but due to the fact that the church also runs an elementary school, no guns are allowed. I think the chairman handled it well instead of flipping out, nobody else seemed to think it was an issue (no school in session), and I'm pretty sure that had a cop also attended the meeting I wouldn't have gotten in any trouble. The state law does include the word "knowingly." While I did bring a firearm on to school grounds, I did not do so knowingly. It was a good educational lesson because now I know to beware when entering places of worship because a lot of them are also schools. Just a heads up on that.

    I don't know that the primary or secondary school would come into play here. I say this because it would more than likely be a private school. I.e. not state owned/regulated and therefore private property. On the other hand, I'm no lawyer either

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    The state law that I read said that you cannot possess a deadly weapon on "school grounds." It later defined school grounds to be "a public or non-public primary or secondary school or kindergarten program." That may not be the verbatim terminology but it was pretty close. I'm no lawyer either but I believe that the state tends to treat private property as a separate jurisdiction. For instance, there is nothing in the statute mentioning firearms on private property implying that it is up to the property owner to make up his/her own rules. Take the CCW permit for instance. If you don't have the permit you cannot legally conceal. Suppose I conceal carry at my friend's apartment. While that may be illegal as I don't have the permit, the friend's apartment is private property and the police would have no jurisdiction over it unless someone called them to complain. Don't take my word for it as I'm not an attorney but basically it appears like state laws generally apply to public areas and leave private property up to the owners to determine what is and is not allowed on the property.

    However, I would avoid chancing it if unnecessary. If you carry on private property where it is prohibited and the police are called, chances are they will simply ask you to leave the property or disarm before re-entering. The school grounds law seems to cover private schools, though, but again it is one of those things where the cops have to actually be *called* for any enforcement to be made. If no one complains then nobody knows as the police cannot legally patrol private property unless permission is given by the property owner, they have a court-issued warrant, or some other probable cause such as someone calling them to report something that is happening there. The school law does also sayfirearms arepermitted "in a program approved by a school." So technically, if the school gives you permission to bring a firearm on the campus for an educational purpose, it is legal. Not sure how far that can be stretched, though.

    Sometimes it cannot hurt to ask the manager/owner/representative of any type of private establishment if they don't mind you carrying if you are unsure of whether or not it is allowed.

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    I carry 24/7 I open carry and conceal carry. The only time I don't carry is if i'd have to go through a metal detector. If every time I went someplace and was worried can I carry or not carry I for one wouldn't bother to even carry a gun. Were you do and don't carry is between you and your God.

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