So I’m a member of a small church council and most of the council including a few members of the church carry. The pastor has his CCW and we’ve agreed to allow carry in the church. Now a member of the council is saying we need insurance and anyone who wants to carry should provide a picture of their CCW along with a picture of the gun and serial number of what ever firearm they decide to carry, so they can keep it on file (just in case). This raises a number of red flags for myself and other members of the council who carry. What’s the smart legal move here? Need some guidance and something to take back to the pastor on this.
Why would they need a picture of every firearm serial number “just in case”.?
The church carries insurance already, I have never heard of an insurance company that would say they need you to be insured just for this reason.
If they don’t have insurance and no one on the security team is paid to be on it, give the USCCA a call. We have a group rate that a lot of church security team members join at the same time to receive the rate - 877-677-1919.
GREAT to know about the group rate.
The security teams leader for our churches ran the SOP through the church’s insurance company, attorneys, and the board of elders for approval.
Each member is requested to carry insurance for themselves.
We certify annually with the states’ LEO qualification course.
We record the model and make of the gun (you can only carry what you certify with) as well as the ammo carried by the person for our security team members.
That is a liability prevention thing.
The serial number is a step I would not agree with.
How could allowing private citizens to do as they will, need liability insurance?
If they were paid security staff, that would be one thing. Just choosing to allow people to exercise their rights, is different. Under that train of thought, every private property would have to carry insurance of this nature. And I don’t mean the regular liability injury insurance that businesses already have.
My former church had a security team. There was like 12 of us. We only carried 1 of 2 calibers. Eventually, the leadership decided to buy concealed carry insurance for the 12 authorized carriers. We practiced & trained together. We ran scenarios. We worshipped together and by GOD’S GRACE & PROTECTION, not one incident.
Any organization open to the public must have liability insurance.
Don’t spend the church’s resources on talking to a lawyer, talk to the insurance company and let THEM talk to THEIR lawyers. They are the ones who will be on the hook anyway.
Concealed carriers should not ever be considered “security team” only because they’re packing. They are responsible for their own bullets and liability.
Establish a dedicated safety team and train for a variety of scenarios (below) not just firepower.
Hire a local off-duty LEO. If bullets begin to fly, it will be the municipality’s liability, not the church’s.
Shootouts are rare. More likely safety issues are medical, weather, fire, the children’s safety, theft, vandalism, etc. Are those being addressed by the church council? Put your energies where the risks are relatively higher.
“Commercial Liability Insurance is not mandatory for businesses operating in Florida.”
It is actually not mandatory in SEVERAL states. And there are exceptions where it is mandatory by statute. Insurance law is STATE regulated. So it widely varies from state to state. Anyone who actually knows much about insurance or liability law knows this stuff.
Your points about general risk mitigation and emergency preparedness vs “mass shooter” prep are on point. The firearms aspect should be LAST in both personal and church safety planning.
Indeed, liability regulations vary wildly from state to state and I misspoke. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, “it would be prudent for any organization open to the public have liability insurance.”
Absolutely! And I agree that if they do have a liability policy from a trusted agent (actual human being whom they know and interact with) they should consult that person instead of an outside attorney.
I only answered the way I did initially because the OP said he wanted something to “take to the pastor.” If I’m going to be quoted in this context, it will be “consult your physician” or “consult your attorney.” Don’t want to create liability for ME when some strangers half way around the world cite my reply at trial.
Further info. We’re located in the Cleveland Ohio area. Location is a semi urban community and crime is not unknown here. We’re barely two years old and aquired this building about a year ago. Right before the lockdowns. We’ve been holding services in the building since August of last year w/o incident. and the pastor has received threats for some of his teachings (we livestream).