When I first wrote about bills before the legislature that would end a state prohibition on concealed carry in churches many objected to the idea of guns in churches. But I think people are a little confused about what the law would do. It wouldn’t mandate that churches allow concealed carry but rather allow churches to make that decision for themselves.
Churches that want to allow concealed carry aren’t allowed to do so now because of state law. And there are some churches which want that, according to Pastor Jay Reinke who testified before a legislative committee today:
BISMARCK, N.D. (GPN) – A minister at two Lutheran churches in western North Dakota wants the state Legislature to allow his parishioners to bring guns to church.
Jay Reinke (RAN’-kee) says the change could save lives if someone else came into the church wanting to kill people. He is pastor of Redeemer Lutheran in Grassy Butte and Concordia Lutheran in Williston.
The bill being discussed, HB1283, would also end the state prohibition on concealed carry in schools, allowing local school districts to also make a determination as to whether or not they want to allow concealed carry.
The bill is a bit different from HB1215, which doesn’t include churches and would allow for schools to make decisions about concealed carry in secret.
I support HB1283, introduced by Koppelman, because it gives churches the ability to choose on this issue and it also doesn’t contain the provision about schools making concealed carry decisions in secret. I interviewed Rep. Dwight Kiefert, who introduced HB1215 about that provision, and he said it was important because schools who debate the issue and decide to remain a “gun free zone” might be making themselves targets.
I understand his logic, but I think the public’s right to know trumps that concern.