KBCraig wrote:I disagree with the public policy of banning carry in churches. Does that violate the 1st Amendment? That's a different question. I'm not a lawyer, but my gut says that it does not. It is a bad law that needs to be repealed because it does more social harm than good (by infringing on core rights) but I think that saying that it infringes on the 1st Amendment is a stretch. They ban carry in bars, sporting events, and other big gatherings too so places of worship haven't been singled out for special negative treatment. I'm not aware of many religious practices that involve firearms. If peyote and handling rattlesnakes can be legally banned -- and the case that they have been a real part of religious ceremonies for many years ismuch stronger-- then I don't see the law running afoul of the 1st Amendment.Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the Arkansas AG on this matter.
In summary, I agree that it should be repealed. We had a similar ban in Texas but now a church must post a valid 30.06 sign. We haven't had a wave of CHL-inspired murders. In fact, I'm not aware of one. Legally, the AR AG is probably correct and in any event it is his job to defend the enactments of the Legislature. That said, the experience of many other states ought to assuage any fears of violence and this prohibition should become a thing of the past.
Just my $.02.
BTW --a member of my familyworks as a secretary in a church in AR and her pastor has a CHL but, of course,can't carry. Needless to say, he isn't happy about it. Perhpas he and other like-minded clergy should call upon some legislators and make sure that they are heard. I gave her my experience in Texas: we changed it, I've carried in church; no one knew. Concealed means concealed.