Should guns be allowed in worship centers to protect its congregation?

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utahns are taking sides about bringing guns to places of worship following Saturday’s deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. 

We put the following question on our ABC4 Facebook page: Should there be armed security in places of worship to protect the congregation?

Here’s how people are responding:

ABC4 News reached out to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to get their response.

“Our chapels are dedicated for the worship of God and as havens from the cares and concerns of the world. The carrying of lethal weapons, concealed or otherwise, within their walls is inappropriate except as required by officers of the law,” said Daniel Woodruff, Church Spokesman.

Pastor Corey Hodges of The Point Church said, “In light of the mass shootings in public venues, including houses of worship, it is my opinion that our churches should staff or hire armed security. 

Churches,  like many other public spaces, are soft targets. In times past, churchgoers felt safe attending weekly services with their families. However, the recent uptick in church-related shootings has changed that reality. 

In this climate, it is the responsibility of Church leaders to ensure the safety of the congregation. 

The Point Church has armed security officers in attendance during our weekly service. These men and women are trained in the use of firearms and security protocols. These security persons are not uniformed in order to lower the feelings of discomfort and normalcy to those who are in attendance.”

We also put this question on the ABC4 Twitter page: Should people with a concealed carry permit bring guns into places of worship to protect the congregation?

Here’s how people are responding:

Pastor Hodges also weighed in on this question by saying, “I think church attendees should be allowed to carry concealed weapons if a church staff member is made aware of its presence.  Off-duty policemen, or other professionals that would normally carry a gun, could potentially be helpful during an active shooter event. In either case whether a regular church attendee or an off-duty professional, I think there should be a process in place to let church staff know who is carrying a concealed weapon.”

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