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Should Church Security Teams Carry Weapons? Ed Stetzer Asks and the Responses Might Surprise You

“We have armed security at our church. It allows for parishioners to be able to worship without thinking about who is coming in or if they will be harmed.”

“On any given Sunday, in West Virginia, likely 1 out of 2 adult church attenders are armed. In our state, there is no permit required to open carry or conceal carry a firearm. We have very little gun violence. Our larger churches do have well-trained armed safety teams.”

“Nope and nope, because Jesus, first and foremost. Also because Australia has good laws.”

“Yes. Every weekend. Being a church that is ferociously #FOR our families and communities directly means that we have to stand against certain things. We have made the commitment to aggressively oppose the pain, destruction, and death that the enemy wishes to bring to the church.”

“Yes as a pastor in Pennsylvania, we have an ‘unofficial’ security team. Comprised of active and retired law enforcement, military etc. All trained to respond in an active shooter situation. ALWAYS concealed. This is not uncommon in Central PA.”

“Yes and have quarterly trainings with retired law enforcement, to include going to gun range for firearms training. In every service there are 7-10 peeps with a concealed weapon. All are also trained in CPR. If shooter comes to our church, he MAY get one shot off.”

“No security team, and even if we did, they would not carry weapons Because we live in England and we have sensible gun laws!”

“The fact these questions need asking just screams that there is something very wrong with American Gun Culture. In the UK we have people called welcomers… and they hug you…with a smile…not a gun.”

“Yes. Team is led by former police & are required to qualify every quarter to carry during services.Train on possible church scenarios. Mainly serve as a first impressions. The current rise of mass shootings and the growing trend of resistance toward [Christianity] make this necessary.”

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“The past few churches I have been in do, yes. Two conceal carried, and it wasn’t public knowledge that that was what was going on, but it wasn’t a big or well kept secret. One is open carry but it is a church where the leadership has a police background, specifically the pastor. The reasoning for concealed carry was we didn’t want visitors or new families to know or be frightened by it. They wanted the church to be safe without a show of force. The latter I think it is just habit.”

“Nearly all of our security team have CCW permits and carry every day, including at church. We periodically have training days for firearms.”