House of Worship Safety

#1

When I visited a new church two years ago and talked to one of the welcoming group I discussed that I work weird hours and may not always attend regularly. (At that point I was a Social Care Advisor here at the USCCA and worked a bunch of weird hours.) The gentleman I was talking with asked me what I did. I told him and I told him who I worked for. As he replied to me, he patted his four o’clock and said that the church was always happy to have people who believe in defending themselves in church and would welcome me at any time. He went on to say that he knew a lot of people who had similar beliefs in the church and they shared my passion - and again patted his four o’clock with a smile on his face.

I’m sure not everyone in the church would share our views on carrying in church and he was being sensitive to their feelings while letting me know that I was very welcome to carry.

Does your house of worship have a safety team? Do you carry while attending service? Does the church (synagogue, temple,…) allow carrying and appreciate the fact you carry?

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#2

My church does have a security team, the went so far that we are commissioned security officers thru the state. We have some people in a causal uniform who open carry and some of us in the sanctuary in plan clothes concealed carry. We sit in different areas depending on what our responsibilities are in the event a bad guy shows up. There is no firearms allowed unless you’re a police officer or security team member.

#3

Is the no-firearms a published rule for the church, @Sheepdog556?

I know there are a number of police officers in my church. I couldn’t tell you who is carrying and who isn’t. No one has ever commented that I’m carrying - that’s why I prefer concealed carry and is one of the benefits of winter in Wisconsin. :slight_smile:

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#4

They have all the state approved signs posted on every entrance to the church. The gentleman in charge of the team is extremely thorough and not shy about asking someone to take their firearm back to their vehicle.

It’s a smaller church and everyone knows who is on security team and they are very welcoming to having a security team. For me it was a very big reason I continue to attend.

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#5

My church does not presently prohibit carrying, I carry, i sit in the upper balcony and in the back but that was awhile ago.

I have not been able to attend services in a regular basis for the last 3 years though, tried last year, could not handle it. I grew up in the church, my father was a pastor and passed just over 3 years ago.

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#6

I’m so sorry to hear about your father, @Orpackrat! That would definitely make it harder to go to services. I hope your faith is helping you through his passing.

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#7

I am part of the security team. We have a regular rotation. Those of us that have our ccw license do carry, as well as other members of the church. We don’t prohibit it, and our pastoral staff, along with the majority of church members are fine with, and appreciative of this fact. I also am in the rotation to run the sound, so I sit in the balcony almost every time I’m at church.

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#8

@Dawn

Its been rough going, to make matters worse, almost a decade of first aid and cpr training, first time i ever performed it was on my father trading off with my mother as we tired, waiting on emergency services.

One day i will be able to return. I still carry even at church, even before my fathers passing.

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#9

My heart breaks for you @Orpackrat!

I would say there is a silver lining - you know you did everything you could to help your father and he is in a better place now.

You’ll be in my prayers, Steve. :pray:

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#10

@Dawn

The silver lining… My grandfather on my fathers side passed a couple month later of a broken heart, my grandmother on my mothers side, and 3 good friends as well in 2016.

The lining, every weekend, my father, grandfather, and a brilliant speaker Ray Yungen (you can find him on google) would all go out for their Pizza, Pops, and Prayer. All 3 passed in 2016, id like to think they are all back together again.

My Grandfather introduced myself and youngest brother to guns, my weak hand carry if my grandfather former carry for his concealed carry I inherited.

My father a very practical man.

The only store I purchase my guns from is the only store my grandfather went too. Many i inherited gsme from the same shop over the years.

I carry for protection as the practical thing to do and I make at least 1 purchase a year to be something my grandfather would likely to hsve purchased.

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#11

My church used to have signs prohibiting carrying. But recently a consultant advised our diocese to take those signs down because it’s an invitation for a bad person with evil intentions. Interestingly, the signs were only on the front door which is seldom entered. We have multiple side doors that most people enter but never had any NO GUNS signs. That opened the door for people to CCW as long as they didn’t tell anyone. The diocese still maintains they don’t want any guns at all. But they followed the advise of the consultant.

Further, a new security team is in the process of starting. But no one is allowed to carry. Think about that a while. With all of the media coverage on priest sex abuse you’d think they’d at least hire police or train security details. But as usual the hierarchy doesn’t have wives or children of their own to protect so they throw the laity under the bus … or should I say throw us into the line of fire. Many of us men are opposed to the bishop’s decision. Some carry anyway. Even a deacon likes to know when some of the LTC’s ccw. Pray for us. We’re under fire with lots of unwise leaders.

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#12

@mdstanzel, I was raised Catholic and went to a Catholic grade school. However, when I found out that priest abused my classmates (after having been accused at another parish and moved to ours to cover it up), I realized that I could no longer attend Catholic churches. Our children need to be protected.

Religion is a very personal thing and I’m always happy to hear that people are active in their faith. I’ve since switched to a non-denominational church that is very accepting of people who are there to help protect those who cannot (including adults who do not know how to defend themselves).

I hope your church and diocese realize how important it is to defend the innocent from evil and change their views. Stay safe out there, Mark!

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#13

I’m a priest abuse survivor. I left for 18 years but came back in 2006/7. Long story. Diocese have training now for the laity. But the clergy are still playing their games. Long story short I actively address the ongoing issues. I believe in the official teachings of the ancient church, not the modern specialized clerical hypocrites. We are a growing population standing up for justice. Offenders need to go to prison and stripped of their clerical status. My wife was abused by a man in her non-Catholic church. We both are vigilant about any abuse, including bullying.

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#14

Thank you for sharing your experience, @mdstanzel. I can’t imagine what you’ve gone through. But things don’t change unless people stand up. I applaud your courage and strength!

I completely agree with you that offenders need to be stripped of their status and go to prison. We need to protect our children.

It’s also great to see that you have a faith bigger than the organization. My prayers are with you and your wife!

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#15

This isn’t something we want to consider walking into our house of worship on a Saturday evening or Sunday morning - or whenever you attend. @KevinM addresses how to survive a church shooting in this Into the Fray:

Hopefully it provides some good food for thought before your worship time this weekend.

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Carrying in your house of worship
#16

I have carried for many years, but lately started taking it very seriously. I’ve attended several classes for mindset, training, and fighting. My church is just now at a stage that they recognize the need for a safety team and I’m heading this up. My goal is to stay ministry minded, but be prepared for anything. Luckily, the church is ok with ccw for members and doesn’t have a problem with having an armed congregation. In fact they are quite open…we are having a knife defense class held at the church. I’ll be attending this and medical classes soon. My belief is that everyone should be ready, including the church, and has a responsibility to take care of themselves and others. “Could You Survive A Church Shooting” was a really good eye-opener for me and my church. But again, my goal is safety and ministry…I want to help people no matter what the need. Guns are just a tool, along with many others, we have to consider depending on the need. I hope the USCCA will do more on this subject. I need it!

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#17

Update: this Tuesday I found out it’s now okay to ccw at my parish. The deacon talked about it during our KofC Meeting. I found out he got licensed just last year too. Lots of jokes about the pastor/priest telling him he’d hide behind the deacon since he volunteered. What a relief. With all the clergy abuse scandals I’ve been waiting for one of the victims to go ballistic on a parish.

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#18

That is a very legitimate concern, @mdstanzel.

It’s depressing how many victims there are :cry:

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#19

I spoke with our elder board and they have agreed not only to have a security team, but also to have a group of people trained in first aide and CPR.

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#20

That makes total sense, @Robbie13! There are so many not-mass shooter medical incidents that having first aid people is a great idea.

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