Whenever we come to a Church and begin to discuss Church Safety and Security, somewhere throughout the conversation, someone will mention the number of people that have an License to Carry (LTC) in their Church. This is often times used as justification for being prepared. In fact, even some Churches have made statements similar to, "If a bad guy comes in to do harm, he will have 50 guns pointed right at him protecting us." That comment is intended to bring comfort to those that they are protecting, but to us that is a situation with a lot of liability, potential crossfire, and many other concerns. Now, we definitely believe there can be a role for LTC Holders but consider these comments & questions as you navigate through this conversation.
Having an LTC does not necessarily qualify you to serve on the Security Ministry? In other words, sitting in a 4-5 hours class and shooting 50 rounds should not mean someone is capable to carry and be on the Safety Team. By law, yes you can carry, but other standards such as, shooting in an emergency situation? Potentially, no at least for being a part of the Ministry. Let me add to this from a statistical standpoint: A Law Enforcement Officer, who has a significant amount of training in emergency situations are statistically going to hit their intended target 33% of the time. Therefore, it is important to consider and develop a selection + interview process for this Ministry.
Also, here are some additional insights for consideration:
-Should the Church authorize certain people to carry a weapon?
-What liability does the Church have if someone carries and shoots an intruder?
-Do you need a written policy about carrying a gun in the Church?
-How should we develop this Ministry and Team and who should be on it?
-Does this affect my insurance policy?
-How does my Denominational Leaders feel about this topic and/or what is their official stance?
There are many questions to ask and address concerning this topic and we would love to come along side of you and navigate through those concerns with you. Unfortunately, in many cases it is not a straight yes/no answer. There are many factors to consider which must be addressed to protect the Church.