Church Safety Teams - how do you handle team concealed carry?

#1

Our church has had a committee studying and implementing safety and security measures for 3 years now and we are at the point of starting a Safety Ministry Team to patrol on Sundays and during special events.

Our insurance company requires our governing board to either allow our team to carry if they have a CCW or to state that we cannot carry while working on behalf of the church. A third option would be to allow CCW members to carry on their own behalf but we need some type of waiver stating that intent. With out identifying your church, would anyone be comfortable sharing how your church’s safety team handles the armed v unarmed situation and any specific verbiage you have for it in your SOPs?

2 Likes
#2

Great question, @Shepherd. My church lets them decide for themselves and offers “group outings” to the range to train together. I don’t know too many of the specifics as I am not a member of the team at church.

When I joined this church a few years ago I was talking with one of the pasters and he asked what I did for a living. Always an interesting conversation for me to have. When I said where I work, he patted his 4 o’clock and said we’re very friendly here.

3 Likes
#4

When they’re ready, if the team is not required to carry and not compensated for their efforts, they can get a group rate through the USCCA, @Shepherd.

Let me know if you need more details.

I’ll be watching this to see what others have to say! I know we’ve got some in volunteers for their church security team here. :slight_smile:

1 Like
#5

@Wayne Thanks for sharing your expertise and knowledge. Unfortunately I am a peon in the church and have no sway over our insurance carrier. We don’t have Brotherhood, but we did use their huge manual on church safety and security to do our in depth analysis and study of our church the last 3 years.

Our state allows concealed carry in church, our congregants can follow our state’s law and carry concealed in church, Those acting on behalf of the church, ushers, greeters, safety team members, liturgists, cannot carry until we iron out the third option I mentioned above or until the governing board allows us.

@Dawn, I’ve been in touch with the group discount folks at USCCA and am waiting on this last part before we act as a team. A couple of us are already USCCA members so we are just waiting to get either the church’s approval or the waiver in place.

2 Likes
#7

That’s awesome, @Shepherd! Hope we can help you all defend your congregation!

1 Like
#8

I’m a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. We “stand” in uniform. Carrying would be really awkward right now. With the new uniform change from a tuxedo to a suit I can get a black carry belt. My tux doesn’t have a belt. It’s suspenders and a under arm holster won’t work because we carry swords.

1 Like
#9

@mdstanzel, you have a favorite black carry belt?

Wonder why Wayne pulled out? He not only pulled out here but in the intro thread as well.

1 Like
#10

My brother in law is a Mason. He carries a small 38 in a pocket holster when he is dressed for Lodge events. With your change from tux, to dress pants, it might be a viable option.

2 Likes
#11

My church security team members are commissioned security officers thru the state. We have both open carry and concealed carry members at each service and each has a primary responsibility in the event of an incident. This also allows our pastoral staff to have security at off property events if they wish to.

#12

Thanks for the info @Sheepdog556, right now we don’t have the budget to get everyone the state mandated training to be certified through the state as security personnel because it is a new ministry, but hopefully one day. Did your congregants have an issue seeing open carry security people roaming the hallways?

#13

@Shepherd

I joined after the program had been started but have found that people are happy to see other members willing to fill that role. It’s more personal having church members protect other members and the comfort of having an open deterrent and immediate response.
We do do our best to be as welcoming as possible. It still is a church and understand that sometimes you’re dealing with people who are at a bad time in life. So we usually have the open carry people “look the other way” and the concealed carry guys who you’d never know will sit behind them during service.

2 Likes
#14

What kind of training do they have to go through to be commissioned, @Sheepdog556?

#15

I’m a member of a small church (about 35 members) and we got together with the pastor after the church shooting in Antioch,TN about CCW members actually carrying in the church since Antioch is only a short drive from where we are at and it was a small church that was hit up there. He was all for it being a NRA life member, so we get together on some weekends or during the week and hit the range for practice together so we can help each other out and see where we need to change stance, handgrips, ect to get better at hitting our targets. Being in Tennessee where we have had several shootings he said it’s better to be safe than sorry when we have members who are willing to defend themselves and their church family in a critical situation.

1 Like
#16

@Damon, glad to hear your church pastor is supportive and you guys are training as a team. Did you form an actual patrol and walk the church grounds before the service, or is it more informal?

1 Like
#17

4 of us stay outside doing a walk around till the services get ready to start and we strategically place ourselves at different points throughout the church during service so we have all the doors covered and we lock all doors while services are going except for the main front door in case there’s someone coming late which happens sometimes.

2 Likes
#18

A member went thru the state training to become a certified trainer. He then gives us our annual training and testing, it’s testing on subjects that range from report writing and note taking to what classifies as different misdemeanors and felonies. And we have to meet state law enforcement shooting qualifications. All in all it’s about 10 tests and a qual shoot

1 Like
#19

Some of our members do( like me right now) and some don’t. Instead of the potential liability of an “armed security” we leave it to the individual. Several others of our volunteer patrol detail are also USCCA members. And of that group, some of us do get together fairly regularly and have range time. It’s the “some of us are carrying most of the time. Do you want to chance who, and when.” I can guarantee, that during a church service, or function, there’s a ccw holder who’s packing on the premises.

2 Likes
#20

They continue to find soft target churches. I enjoy announcing with an armed presence that this church body will fight back. Please come and worship check the violence off property tho

2 Likes
#21

My name is William Smith and I wish to join with you to see this through. Our Schools and Churches are being attacked and it sometimes feel hopeless. Our churches are a place of worship and of peace, not the nightmares that have happened. In the State of Florida, the combination of Church and School the Conceal and Carry can be very difficult for us. It is not illegal for the church part but the SCHOOL with children.

We have had GREY AREA in the LAWS and it takes asking the correct people for help like, The Senior Pastor, Staff, School board, The Sherriff and police Department, and may a lawyer or two. I have found out many areas in my training to seek education in what my insurance company USCCA has to offer and some other places like PDN ( Personal Defense Network ), Concealed Carry, and that is for example.

You may find out that you need to check your insurance companies for what they may offer on they can RAISE your insurance cost if you do it yourselves. I am covered under USCCA and my PASTORS know it and my training. I am not all knowing. PRAY and PRAYER! Thank you

1 Like
#22

@William_H, thanks for your reply. I agree it is a subject that needs immediate attention. Our Safety and Security Committee that is forming our Safety Team has a lawyer on the committee. In fact, he used to be the city attorney for a number of years. We also have military and retired law enforcement as well as business people on the committee. Our church’s insurance carrier doesn’t have issues with covering us if our trustees and admin council approve it. I also have USCCA and am going to recommend it to anyone that ends up carrying if we get it approved. Good luck in Florida and with your efforts to keep you and yours safe.