Church Security Update – When Carrying a Firearm, Is Being Legal Enough?

I have watched the media coverage of the latest church shooting in East Texas and from the few facts I know I have formed opinions of what likely went wrong just like all of you. However, since I wasn’t there and don’t have all the details it would be unfair for me to postulate theories on where all the failures occurred. All we know for sure is that a pastor is dead at the hands of a felon who was hold up in his church while hiding from law enforcement. We know the felon was unarmed initially, that the pastor was armed and was killed with his own weapon. That information alone is enough for us to revisit the conversation about what is legal verses what is prudent when it comes to carrying a firearm in church with the job of protecting others.

I have seen articles about this incident claiming no clergy should ever be armed and others crying foul that anyone can carry in a church. Clearly as a LTC holder this pastor was within his legal rights to be carrying a handgun just as it now is for anyone in church and/or on a church safety team (in Texas). I not only support that law but helped behind the scenes to get that law passed. However, while teaching across Texas and nationally, I see even moderately adequate training for this job of protecting others with a firearm is woefully lacking. Most churches I teach have adopted the policy of “if you have your LTC come on down and be part of the Safety Team“. It is my opinion that this is not just stinkin’ thinkin’ it is a very costly practice.

All you need to do is look at the national news coverage for a week and note the different trained and experienced police officers that have made fatal mistakes when using deadly force. If it is that prevalent within the ranks of our trained and experienced police officers who do the job all day every day… how can you possibly expect your Safety Team officers to do the job adequately for 2 hours on a Sunday with only a LTC and no additional training or experience? hear me clearly, I am not advocating to either change the law or tell safety teams you shouldn’t carry. I am simply pointing out what should be an obvious fact… if you do not train adequately for that type of job you will not perform adequately when called to do that job. like the motto that says “You cannot train too hard or too much for a job that can kill you!” If you are part of an armed Safety Team and do not believe that motto I recommend you pray about finding another ministry where you might be able to serve your church. Food for thought.

Below are links to a few articles related to church security incidents:

Below are links to related training topics:

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