FL Bill To Allow Carry In Churches With Schools Advances

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In Florida, you can carry a gun in a lot of places. That includes carrying a gun in church if the church is OK with it. For those who just don’t see why you’d want to do that, I refer you to Sutherland Spring, TX and White Settlement, TX for a bit of a “compare and contrast” exercise.

There are reasons to carry a firearm in church.

However, in Florida, there are times you can’t carry a gun in church. More specifically, you can’t carry in church (or synagogue or mosque or whatever you call your place of worship) if there is a school attached.

A bill seeking to address that has now advanced to the Florida legislature.

A Senate committee voted Tuesday to expand gun rights to allow a concealed weapon license holder to carry a firearm into a church, mosque or synagogue where there is also a school.

Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, argues his “Safety of Religious Institutions” bill, SB 498, closes a loophole in a Florida law that bans guns in a house of worship located on a school campus.

He explained as currently written, the schoolyard ban on guns treats religious institutions on the same property as a school classroom building differently than one that is not located on a school campus.

Gruters and his supporters, which include the National Rifle Association and other gun groups, said the bill would simply guarantee all houses of worship are treated the same in the eyes of the law.

A Washington Post database of shootings found that of the 88 people killed in mass shootings at places of worship since 1966, defined as incidents in which four or more people were killed, 47 occurred in the last six years.

Andy Pelosi, executive director of Keep Guns Off Campus, acknowledged the recent killings at houses of faith in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas, but said if armed protection is needed then the only option should be trained law enforcement officers with tactical experience.

“Not a worshipper with a concealed weapon permits willing to help out,” said Pelosi.

In other words, Pelosi wants smaller churches that lack sufficient funds to be forced to suffer because they can’t hire law enforcement.

Nope. Sorry, that’s not really going to fly.

See, Pelosi can say stuff like that, but you know what he can’t do? He can’t show a single instance of how an armed private citizen somehow made a mass shooting worse.

Not a one.

He can say stuff like that and make it sound reasonable to a lot of people, but there’s simply no evidence saying that armed citizens are a legitimate problem anywhere. Frankly, he’d be surprised how little “tactical” training many police officers actually receive, anyway. Besides, why do I suspect he supports defunding police departments?

Let’s just call that one a hunch.

Anyway, there’s zero reason to dismiss armed parishioners as a viable option for providing security for a church and do it safely.

Frankly, I’m glad this bill advanced and I hope to see it passed very soon.