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Conceal law & Churches

16161 Views 53 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Jeff Johnson
For those who are unaware, last year the LDS Church & other groups banded together to form a new law which restricts carrying a weapon in a church. Anyone who has ever had to walk (in-other -words, their only means of transport) through a undesirable neighborhood, would be a person who would want every means available for their defense. This law, unlike the rest of the conceal laws of the state does not allow for them to have to provide a locker or other secure place for storage while attending services. What can that poor individual do? Kind of like a rock & a hard place. I feel that they should be forced to provide a place to store a weapon while attending church functions. If they do not think this feasable, then an individual should be able to obtain a letter of "exception to the rule," from their Bishop or Parish Priest so that they may be safe.
As many may know, the Lds Churches stance seems a little odd considering that they have always promoted weapons as being something one should have for protection, along with food storage. They even insisted that church members have at least one rifle and a hand gun if possible for each family traveling west. Kind of seems like a 180 to me.
Anyhow, with the law written as it is now, just like at the Third District Court, the LDS Church has assumed role of protector over all parishioners. This means that if you are assaulted, mugged or murdered on your way to or from, and while at church--they are responsible & may be sued for failure to protect you.
All this being said, I am LDS & I disagree with this law which the church so quickly pushed through the Utah Legislature. Why should they not be forced to comply with the other arms statutes which specifically state what a secure facility is & that a locker be provided for secure storage while on their premesis?
Now that I have got the ball rolling--comments anyone?
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I have to somewhat disagree, although I agree in principle.

What good does my gun do me or anyone else in a locker? If a church had an armed guard and metal detectors at their doors, I would feel comfortable leaving my gun in a locker. That ain't happ'nin and we all know it!

I don't want to be caught in a 'church Columbine'.

But we all know that any 'private' entity (business, church, homeowner) has a right to restrict weapons on their property. Don't think that'll change any time soon either.

So, I guess me and my church stand at an impass on the issue. And that's OK with me.
I am sure Clark can shed more light on the issue. However, for what I understand the church actually agreed to no longer back a much stricter bill in favor of the current legislation.

I do not agree with it and I will not be stepping into any church that will not allow me to practice my God given rights any time soon. I am also not one to compromise so I am glad it was not me at the bargaining table.
The LDS church's position on the concealed carrying of weapons is confusing to me. On the one hand, you have the church fulfilling all the legal requirements to restrict carry here in Utah, but doing nothing to restrict it in other states. While they may not legally be able to restrict it in some places, is it not feasible that if the church were truly concerned about this that they would have sent letters to be read at the pulpit requestign members do not, even though the church cannot legally restrict it?

Since they haven't had such a letter read nationwide regardless of legal parameters for carry in those states, I am left wondering why they did this in Utah. Were they perhaps catering to many members in alarm that while other churches were subscribing to this restriction, the LDS church was not? Was this a PR move and nothing more? Again, if they were really serious about restricting carry, why only in Utah?

I'm really left wondering.
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Does the LDS Church ask people in other states not to carry in their houses of worship? In Utah there is a provision in the law about it, but are there any other states have a similar provision -- to make a blanket provision for individual denominations about non-carry, rather than by individual buildings -- where the LDS Church could do the same kind of thing?

Michigan, for example, says any church facility is off-limits (unless permission is granted). But I'm talking about the opposite situation where carry is legal except where a church specifically denies it.

My point is, maybe Utah is the only place where there is this kind of law. I'm wondering if the LDS Church would have done the same thing in other states, but couldn't because the process or law for doing it just wasn't available.
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About 4 years ago I representing (US-DIN) the NRA Lobbyist and Go-Utah’s chairman met with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints’ leaders in the church office building downtown. It was then and there we hammered a bill that resulted in what we have in law under 76-10-530.
After the Gov signed it and for almost 2 years the church quietly kept that in reserve and showed no intention to Ever post or notify per the statue requirements thus invoking the ban in their meetinghouses.

In fact it was not until Dan Harrie, reporter for the Tribune called me and asked why hasn’t the Church notified or posted on BCI’s website?. He said after all, weren’t they instrumental in drafting the current law? I said I don’t know why they haven’t but I postulated that perhaps they realized that by doing so would only be a figurative ban since there were no detectors in place. That just wasn’t good enough for him. He kept pushing this for weeks until the member sheep flooded the church with phone calls saying “you must protect us” The church, in my opinion said “fine, you want it, you got it” for all the good it’ll do you.”

On a very relevant side note, and something very few people know about, at the current time, guns are NOT banned, by law, in LDS meeting houses at this time. Doubt that?, read the statute yourself. Lets see who on this list can be first to find out why I would say such a thing.
W. Clark Aposhian
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My guess would be:

(b) Any notice given pursuant to Subsection (2)(c), (d), or (e) shall remain in effect until revoked or for a period of one year from the date the notice was originally given, whichever occurs first.

The church probably has never re-instated there notice to BCI after the first year was up. Just a guess though.
Thomas Knight Gets The GOLD Star on the Forehead!!!
GREAT!!!! But, you are not allowed to pin it on with a thumb tack. :)

P.S. I did notice BCI removed a few churches off their website list however, not the LDS church. Any ideas why they did not remove them as well?
Board meeting this week. I'll check the status on it.
So, since the year has lapsed, and the Church has not renewed the notice with BCI, it is legal to carry in churches? Whew! Then I won't be nervous any more!

Thanks guys.

Is there anyone else here who carries in church?
I hadn't thought about the one year thing. I went back to the Utah Talk Page at packing.org and found a thread that I'd participated in on the day that the church invoked the law. It was 26 January 2004. You're right!! :D

I look forward to seeing that notice coming off the BCI web site.

One question. Since the date of the notification is significant, it would be very helpful to see that notification date on the BCI page. Would BCI be willing to post that?

[EDIT (1-Dec-2008) - Updated the links in this post, since PDO is dead (now references a web archive site) -- Jeff]
W. Clark Aposhian said:
Board meeting this week. I'll check the status on it.
Thanks Clark, I'm looking forward to this info as the LDS church is still listed. Did someone at the Church renew the notice without saying anything?

Just wondering... I've not carried much at church, but I don't like a posted victim zone. I DO like the freedom of carrying if I am passing by and need to talk with my wife at young women's of something...
Thanks to everyone for chipping in. I was unaware of the 1 year portion of the statute. Thanks Clark! I am happy to see such a good following of this post. I will remember to look closer at the laws in the future. I guess I had just "assumed" that the LDS church would have had this posted ad infinitum.
As I've said before, many churches, especially in the south require at least one Deacon to carry at church all the time. I am glad to know that there are others out there who feel, as I do, that an advertised unarmed victim location is a prime target for the criminal element. I feel comforted to know that I, or any other lawful ccw person may carry in a church and feel safe. Safe not only for themselves, but for all those who would be victims otherwise.
Thanks for the input!! As a example, we should look to the recent posts on the packing.com site speaking of thwarted robberies & possible assaults at several churches back east & south.
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Sir, have you been able to get any more information on this? Has the LDS Church renewed its request about concealed carry?
The LDS church has not renewed per the requirement.
That's excellent news. When will BCI update the list on their web site accordingly?
W. Clark Aposhian said:
The LDS church has not renewed per the requirement.
How does one verify this? Just curious.
W. Clark Aposhian said:
Dan Harrie ... kept pushing this for weeks until the member sheep flooded the church with phone calls saying “you must protect us” The church, in my opinion said “fine, you want it, you got it” for all the good it’ll do you.”
From the get-go, this was my theory because the ban violates basic princples. However, there appears to be an overriding principle, famously demonstrated in I Samuel 8:5-7.

When the people are idiots, God says, "fine... just don't say I didn't warn you...."
Since I started this post, I felt I should check things out closer. Yes, there is a one year stipulation & each church must post every year in order to refuse us our God-Given rights to self defence.
I went to the source, BCI. I spoke with Nicole. She said that as of February 1st of this year (2005) the LDS Church sent them a letter & they had not updated it. So at this time it is "illegal" to carry in a LDS chapel.
While I was speaking with Nicole I asked that the site be changed to accomodate a date for the registration of each church that desires to do this.
Hopefully that will help us all. This way we don't have to guess, and one simple review of the sight can tell us if it is legal on any given day to carry in any given posted church.
I still say that if any church is going to do this, that they should provide lockers, or at least a secure storage place within its' facility to accommodate those of us who desire to protect self, family & others. Can something be done about this Clark? Afterall-by definition churches really don't fit the bill, according to statute, of a secure facility unless it is written into the law, or they provide lockers as legislated for secure facilities.
SORRY about the Bad News Guys!!!
I am even more apologetic to all those who rely upon public transportation, who must walk to church in bad neighborhoods because they have no car, or those who are epeleptic who cannot drive--all of whom have no way of protecting themselves to or from the church of their cchoice because of this stupid law. This of course means that all of us have the right to sue a church if in the lawful course of a days events, which may include church service, we are assaulted, mugged, or violated in any way. Why? Because by denying us our God-Given Right to self defense they have accepted responsibility for our safety. I have checked with my representatives on this and this is true by what thay have said. It is even true according to the 3rd District Court--They take FULL Reponsibility for our safety both to and from our homes in these instances!! I hope they realize this!
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