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Thread: AG letter on church ban

  1. #1
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    Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the Arkansas AG on this matter.

    http://volokh.com/2009/09/29/does-ch...rst-amendment/



  2. #2
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    KBCraig wrote:
    Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the Arkansas AG on this matter.

    http://volokh.com/2009/09/29/does-ch...rst-amendment/

    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 It is a bad law that needs to be repealed because it does more social harm than good (by infringing on core rights) but I think that saying that it infringes on the 1st Amendment is a stretch.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.

    In summary, I agree that it should be repealed.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.

    SA-TX

    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.

  3. #3
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    KBCraig wrote:
    Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the Arkansas AG on this matter.

    http://volokh.com/2009/09/29/does-ch...rst-amendment/

    What are your points of disagreement, KBC?

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    HankT wrote:
    KBCraig wrote:
    Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the Arkansas AG on this matter.

    http://volokh.com/2009/09/29/does-ch...rst-amendment/
    What are your points of disagreement, KBC?
    When laws infringe on churches' (or individuals') rights to go about their worship as they please, they are generally held to be constitutional if they apply to all people at all times. That is why bans on peyote, ganja,polygamy, and animal sacrifice are upheld as constitutional, despite legitimate claims as valid religious practices: those things are illegal at all times for all people.

    With the church ban, the state says it's just fine for a licensee to carry a gun, except in a place of worship. That is discrimination against religious practicioners while they are engaged in theirfaith.

    Let's compare it to another Arkansas law: nudity. Arkansas law (Sec. 5-68-204) prohibits persons from exposing their “private parts” to anyone except a spouse or doctor. Anyone, anywhere, any time, publicly or privately - skinnydipping is illegal in the presence of anyone not your spouse or doctor, even in private. If they modified that law, like they modified the ban on carrying handguns, so that recreational nudity was legal except in churches, it would obviously be an unconstitutional intrusion into what churches may or may not allow in their religious practices, on their private property.



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