Pastor Blames Permitless Carry After Man Points Gun In Church

(AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)

One of the many downsides of having a media class that’s largely ignorant about (if not downright hostile towards) gun ownership and gun laws is that many reporters are unable or unwilling to push back against questionable claims made by gun control supporters and those who take a dim view of the right to keep and bear arms. Case in point; a Nashville pastor believes that, were it not for Tennessee’s new permitless carry law, which took effect earlier this year, a man never would have pulled out a gun during the Sunday service at a north Nashville church last Sunday.


“This is the situation we find ourselves in, in a state that has passed laws that make it possible for persons to carry guns who have not undergone any type of background check and does not have to have any training and no permit,” said Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings, a recently retired pastor.

She says this latest incident and other gun violence should give state leaders reason to reconsider the permitless carry law.

I hate to break it to the pastor, but the guy who waved his gun around in church is currently facing 57 charges of felony aggravated assault, which is a pretty good indication that authorities don’t believe his actions were covered by the state’s permitless carry law.

To local television station WKRN’s credit, while reporters didn’t push back on Cummings’ statement directly, they at least sought a second opinion.

On the other hand, Bob Allen, who is director of training at Royal Range in Bellevue believes Sunday’s incident is not a direct cause of permitless carry.

“That has nothing to do with permitless carry. Zero,” said Allen. “That was either somebody who was either a crook or who might have been intellectually disabled — had something going on in the brain and just walked in there and pulled a gun out.”

The suspect allegedly declared that he was Jesus and made other disturbing comments that would indicate he’s not mentally well, but no matter his motivation, Tennessee’s permitless carry law wasn’t responsible for his actions. Depending on the suspect’s previous criminal history or any mental health prohibitions, it might have been legal for him to own and carry the firearm in public, but private property is another matter entirely. If the leaders of Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church wanted to ban guns from the premises, that’s their right, but it’s unclear if the church had any official policy in place.
Of course, it’s also downright silly to believe that someone intent on doing harm to others is going to be dissuaded because of a sign warning them that possessing firearms beyond that point is not allowed. That may be one reason why the Tennessean newspaper reports that the pastor is considering adding a security presence during services, but didn’t say anything about whether or not the church would declare itself a gun-free zone. With fewer than 100 congregants, hiring armed security might be a financial reach, but don’t be surprised if church members themselves step up to serve as guardians if requested.

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