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XD_EE said:
karatelyle said:
I know this is an old topic but I am new to this forum. The LDS church can ban firearms from their houses of worship that is clear. But how is "house of worship" defined by Utah law? Does it cover the entire property, or just the chapel? If it is just the chapel could you not still carry inside the building?
I'll take this one step further by asking if a church is a "house of worship" when there is no worship function? There are plenty of times that a church is used for a completely unrelated activity not even sponsored by said church yet allowed.

EDIT: I should mention that I attended such an activity at a church ( a class ) where we were asked specifically to sign a paper which said that the class was not sponsored by the church but that the building was made available for that class. Where does this fall within the law?
If it is the primary function of the building, then it is a house of worship. This is not primary by amount of time spent in the activity, but rather the primary purpose of the building. BYU uses classrooms for church services, but the primary purpose of the classrooms are not for worship, so they are not considered a "house of worship."
 

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Thanks. I suspected as much, but I thought I would bring it up as it seems relevant to this topic. (And no I was not trying to rationalize simply gain information and opinions from others.)
 

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It's getting to be that time of year again...

I just had this link sent to me by my brother, giving the text of a letter supposedly sent out to Utah leadership on Jan. 16th 2004. I'm not sure if there's a way to verify this letter, but it's interesting to see an "official" (again, if it can be verified) letter about this. Usually, the most I see of "official" documents is a repost of the newspaper notification when it rolls around every year. Grain of salt, YMMV, IANAL, etc. fully in play...

To: Area Presidencies, Area Authority Seventies, Temple Presidents, Stake Presidents, Bishops, and Branch Presidents in Utah

Dear Brethren:

Firearms in Houses of Worship

Churches 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.

Utah law permits churches or other organizations operating houses of worship to prohibit firearms. Any person, including a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm, who knowingly and intentionally transports a firearm into a house of worship or who, while in possession of a firearm, enters or remains in a house of worship where firearms have been prohibited, is guilty of a crime. An exception will be provided for law enforcement personnel, as contemplated by law.

The church plans to invoke the Utah law and give public notice that firearms are prohibited in the church's houses of worship, including temples, meetinghouses, the Assembly Hall, the Salt Lake Tabernacle, and the Conference Center.
Scouting merit badge and other activities where firearms are legitimately involved should be held in facilities other than houses of worship.

Once such public notice is given, persons who bring firearms into a church house of worship should be informed of the church's position and politely asked to take their firearms to another safe location. Persons who refuse to take their firearms from the house of worship or repeatedly ignore the church's prohibition should be referred to local law enforcement officers for possible criminal prosecution. However, every reasonable effort should be made to avoid confrontation and to defuse emotional situations so as to prevent violence and misunderstanding. Questions regarding particular situations may be referred to the Church Security Department and the Church's Office of General Counsel at church headquarters.

Sincerely your brethren,

(signed)

Gordon B. Hinckley

Thomas S. Monson

James E. Faust
Original source was a forum discussion here: http://www.bordeglobal.com/foruminv/index.php?act=ST&f=120&t=28249&st=16#entry170374
 

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Yep, that's the old letter put out way back when the church invoked the law.

I'd like to see that policy (not doctrine) reversed. To me, the higher doctrine is that I am responsible to protect my family from harm. To assume that harm couldn't happen in a church is naive and is not borne out by history, including recent history.
 

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Interesting.

If that is accurate, it's nice to know that the church's official policy is to first warn and ask you to take your firearm out before calling the police. I always expected that is what would happen in nearly all wards anyway, because bishops don't generally want to call the cops on their ward members, but it's nice to know that it's the official line.

Of course, it would be even better if the official policy was to encourage carry, but...
 

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Jeff Johnson said:
Yep, that's the old letter put out way back when the church invoked the law.

I'd like to see that policy (not doctrine) reversed. To me, the higher doctrine is that I am responsible to protect my family from harm. To assume that harm couldn't happen in a church is naive and is not borne out by history, including recent history.
I agree whole heartedly!

Also, there are a few Bishops, or Building coordinators who say they just don't want to know, which of course leaves it entirely up to the individual, as it should be. At least I have read here by some of our members that this is the case where they are at.
 

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After the incident in recent years involving:
the woman shot outside her chapel by her estranged husband, (http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=2442115)
and the recent development in San Francisco, where 2 people were shot in church, (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35403980/ns ... nd_courts/)
and the Missouri shooting of the abortion doctor as he attended church.... (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,523581,00.html)

Contrasted with the Colorado Springs case where the attacker was quickly shot by armed guards/ushers. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/12/09/church ... index.html)

Concealed is concealed.

I actually mentioned it on Monday as we were walking down a hallway at the church. Someone commented on the peepholes in the classroom doors, and I joked it was the new church security measure since we cant have guns. I mentioned concealed is concealed, and someone asked me if I had my permit. Turns out he has his, but he left his gun in his car. Nice to know at least one guy in my ward has the right mindset :D
 

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Daeyel said:
Contrasted with the Denver case where the attacker was quickly shot by armed guards/ushers.
Just to keep the record straight in case anyone wishes to research this incident, it occurred at the Christian Missionary Center in Colorado Springs, CO on December 9, 2007.
 

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Car Knocker said:
Daeyel said:
Contrasted with the Denver case where the attacker was quickly shot by armed guards/ushers.
Just to keep the record straight in case anyone wishes to research this incident, it occurred at the Christian Missionary Center in Colorado Springs, CO on December 9, 2007.
There were two attacks that day; one at a missionary training center in Arvada (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14 ... etail.html) and one at the New Life Church 12 hours later. A security guard at the New Life Church is the one who wounded the attacker, and the attacker subsequently took his own life (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14 ... etail.html).

Rev. Brady Boyd, senior pastor of New Life Church, said the church had a security plan in place.

"I'm proud of the way our team responded," he said. "Many, many lives were saved because of the quick action of some committed volunteers at our church."
 

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UtahCFP said:
A security guard at the New Life Church is the one who wounded the attacker, and the attacker subsequently took his own life (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14 ... etail.html).
It's worth pointing out that the "security guard" was a member of the congregation who volunteered for the duty and was carrying her own firearm with a concealed carry permit.
 

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Maybe it doesn't matter based on the age of this post, but the current BCI page states that a notice was published. From their website, "Per state statute, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made public notice on February 8, 2010 in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News of their intent to prohibit firearms. "
 

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I've said it before and I'll say it again... If God says it's our time to go, then it might happen in church! If we're not meant to get shot, well... that's in God's hands. He will protect us.

I've got a very distinct feeling that he will protect us by whispering in the ears of some of the church members that perhaps they should carry that particular day. ;)
 

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Just out of curiosity... does anyone know why the church singled out Utah for banning guns? As far as I know, the church does not have a similar ban in other states.
I have to say, I was extremely disappointed when the Utah gun ban policy came out. You would think that a people who have historically suffered so much violence at the hands of others would understand the need for self-defense. One has to wonder what Porter Rockwell would think. Or Joseph Smith for that matter, who was packing (and got a few good shots off) the day he was murdered.
 

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butcher said:
Just out of curiosity... does anyone know why the church singled out Utah for banning guns? As far as I know, the church does not have a similar ban in other states.
AFAIK, Utah is the only state that has the sort of law that we do, where churches can optionally implement a legally-enforceable ban without having to post signs. Some states ban firearms in churches entirely, others allow any private property owner to ban firearms but require posting signs. The church is quite particular about the clean, friendly appearance of its buildings and doesn't want to clutter it up with no-guns signs.

So, in states where guns are banned from all churches, the LDS church doesn't need to do anything. In states where they could only ban firearms by putting up signs, they're unwilling to take that step.

Of course, the reason Utah has such a unique law is that the LDS church was consulted in the writing of the law. The way it went down (according to Charles Hardy, director of policy for GOUtah, as he explained in a post over on OCDO) was that the original proposal was a blanket ban on guns in schools and churches, and that the LDS church was lending its support to that bill. Gun rights activists got involved and helped negotiate a compromise which allowed the church to restrict firearms without putting up signs.

It was a pretty good compromise for us, since the ban on school carry was completely dropped and the ban on church carry was watered down to where it's optional, requires annual re-affirmation by the church (unless they want to put up signs) and violation is only an infraction, and one that may not -- by LAW -- result in the loss of your CFP, at least the first time. But had the LDS church not bought off on the compromise, we'd have had a stiffer ban.

So the reason the church has only done what it has done in Utah is because only Utah has the law that allows it to address the issue this way, and the reason that Utah has such a law is because the LDS church has the political clout in Utah to get a law that doesn't require it to put up signs.
 

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karatelyle said:
I know this is an old topic but I am new to this forum. The LDS church can ban firearms from their houses of worship that is clear. But how is "house of worship" defined by Utah law? Does it cover the entire property, or just the chapel? If it is just the chapel could you not still carry inside the building?
This may define things better. Its found in Utah Statue 76-10-501

(13) "House of worship" means a church, temple, synagogue, mosque, or other building set apart primarily for the purpose of worship in which religious services are held and the main body of which is kept for that use and not put to any other use inconsistent with its primary purpose.
 

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I see. Thanks for the clarification on why Utah is the only state (so far). So the church was going to support a blanket gun control bill, huh? Very disappointing. And unfortunately the church's top-down "do as we say" attitude frowns upon petitions and grass roots opposition to any policy within its membership. I'm fortunate enough to live in a very safe neighborhood, so I'll PROBABLY never need to use a firearm at church, but you never know. It only takes one rotten egg to ruin the whole omelet. I guess the only real solution is to find a ward where the bishop has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy! Either that or just be VERY careful to never let anyone know you're carrying. Still, it's unfortunate to have to resort to being underhanded and breaking rules. Those of us who have the courage to protect our loved ones shouldn't have to live in fear of bureaucrats and tattle-tales (as in, "Oh! I see that bulge on your waist! I'm telling the bishop!"). I haven't heard of anyone being prosecuted for violating this law at an LDS church, but I don't want to be the first, either.
 

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I bring my firearm to church all the time. I also bring my tackle box, pole, a hat, and sometimes even a snack.

On a serious note, there are far worse things in life than sneaking your firearm into church.
 

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butcher said:
I guess the only real solution is to find a ward where the bishop has a "don't ask, don't tell" policy!
Or one where the bishop gives you permission to carry.

butcher said:
Either that or just be VERY careful to never let anyone know you're carrying. Still, it's unfortunate to have to resort to being underhanded and breaking rules.
Indeed. And I don't want my comments here to be taken as encouragement for sneaking a gun to church and breaking the law, but I think the odds are that if you were caught, nobody would say a word. If they did, it would just be the bishop asking you please not to do that again. If you live in a ward where people are likely to call the police on one another for minor stuff like this, then I think your ward has bigger problems.

My opinion is that since the brethren have asked us not to carry at church, both as a matter of policy and as a matter of obedience to law (a law which they supported), then as good church members we should be obedient and not carry at church. This may be a way in which we're being asked not to rely on "the arm of the flesh".

That said, if someone really insists on carrying in violation of both policy and law, I don't expect any real consequences. I have accidentally carried in church a few times (just forgot to disarm), and I never worried about it. I even "got made" by another one of the young men's leaders. The result was that he wanted to look at my gun and ask me about it. He liked it and ended up buying one for himself. I try not to have such accidents, but I also reserve the right to carry deliberately if some day I feel impressed to do so.
 

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divegeek said:
My opinion is that since the brethren have asked us not to carry at church, both as a matter of policy and as a matter of obedience to law (a law which they supported), then as good church members we should be obedient and not carry at church. This may be a way in which we're being asked not to rely on "the arm of the flesh
I know all about the posting in the newspapers and general church policies, but has general authority spoken to this issue? (like one of the 12 or 70?)

Sorry if this has already been addressed
 
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