Church Protection Act passed Mississippi Senate - - Jackson, MS

Church Protection Act passed Mississippi Senate

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

House Bill 786 is the Church Protection Act. The author has said it's meant to provide civil immunity to designated church members protecting the congregation. But it sparked nearly two hours of debate in the Senate Tuesday morning.

The Church Protection Act would not require a church to designate folks to conceal carry. Instead, it would be an option.

"Gives members of the church, if they so choose, a greater ability to protect themselves and their families and their church," noted Senator Sean Tindell.

Senator Hillman Frazier pulled out a sword while speaking against the bill, describing the Bible story of a disciple cutting off a servant's ear. He suggested weapons aren't needed when there is a Father in Heaven to protect his people.

"We don't need to pimp out the church for political purposes," explained Frazier. "If you want to pass laws to liberalize gun laws, do that. But don't use the church to do that."

Several members expressed concerns about allowing guns in the church at all. But the chairman said not all actions wouldn't be protected. That's part of why the Senate committee made an amendment.

"It just offers greater clarification as to protecting your church," Tindell noted. "Originally it was any felony. So we just clarified that it needed to be, acts of violence."

Only church members could be granted immunity under the bill. Hired security members wouldn't be protected. The bill passed the Senate 36-14.

The House will now have to review and approve the Senate's changes before it goes to the governor's desk. It should be noted that someone could technically already carry in church with an enhanced carry permit if the church doesn't prohibit firearms

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