CCW At Church - Council Allows, but does the church need insurance

I’d suggest double-checking the liability on that one. For some officers I know who have a second job, their primary police liability will not cover them in a second paying position.

Isn’t legalese fun? :woman_facepalming:

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Yep. I decided to focus on 1 issue at a time, but this one also leapt off the page at me first time through.

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First of course, if there are any attorneys you are members of the church you might be able to get free legal advice. Because legal advice is going to trump anything a non-lawyer like myself is going to say.

I would separate thinking about this into 3 categories of people:

  1. Security Team, voluntary or otherwise
  2. Council Members
  3. General Church Membership

Anyone taking on an official (or otherwise sanctioned) duty for providing security to the church and its members is likely going to require insurance and to meet other requirements (training, some kind of ‘registration’ of firearms authorized for use, etc.). And I would not rely on a “wink wink”, “we never said they actually were supposed to provide security” claim that they weren’t taking on a security role when we told them they could carry.

Council Members have a high likeliness of being named in a civil lawsuit after something happens since they allowed concealed carry. So it is in the Council’s best interested to make sure they are covered by the Church’s liability insurance should a security team member, another member of the council, or a general member need to use their firearm.

Council Members who carry may be deemed implicit members of the security team, particularly based on your description. (BTW, I would not have posted the question here because the contents of this forum are discoverable. I would have asked an attorney since those conversations are privileged, but the cat is out of the bag.) So personally I would treat any council member who is going to carry the same as I’d treat the security team.

General Members who have not agreed to provide security shouldn’t need to notify the Church, register firearms, etc. They are carrying for personal safety, not Church security. Now this needs to be considered in terms of local law. If your state doesn’t have restrictions on carry in religious institutions, but does allow them to prohibit it, then do you currently have a “No Firearms” rule and postings? If local law prohibits carry unless explicitly allowed by the institution, or you are lifting a “No Firearms” rule, then perhaps your liability situation is more precarious. If you never told people they couldn’t carry, why do you now need to tell them they can? This is exactly why you would want legal advice. It has to be localized.

Now the overall advice I would give in your place is to say “don’t be put off by the complexities of allowing carry in the church”. It’s only slightly different then a 100 other things that come, many of which you choose to just ignore. Or, thankfully, insurance covers by default. The main things you are dealing with are (a) making sure your insurance covers you for firearms use the same as it does for other things and (b) making sure there are reasonable policies and procedures in place for those agreeing to be part of a security team.

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On what do you base this assumption? I am not aware of a single lawsuit confirming this assertion in the USA.

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I totally agree with this statement!

And…again…totally concur.

At least here in Florida we want churches to call them safety teams not security teams. Safety uses members of the church community, here in Florida security requires a licensed guard. Other conversations on this subject if I remember correctly a USCCA insured member would be covered in a safety team situation.

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Our church calls it patrol.

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Our church calls it Custodes Sacellum and everyone wears this lapel pin or embroidered on a polo shirt. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

We’re called the Church Safety Team and have name badges with our first name and “CST” on them.

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For official legal advice, definitely check with an attorney. This is a great place to ask for further ideas about what to ask and questions can definitely be posed hypothetically.

Y’all are great at poking holes when something is missing from a plan. :slight_smile:

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I like it.
(Keepers of the Shrine)

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I plan to call on the group rate. Thanks for the info!