Tulsa churches react after bill to allow concealed carry in places of worship moves through House

Posted at 6:20 PM, Mar 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-08 07:21:02-05

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. -- Oklahoma lawmakers passed House Bill 2632 through the House, which expands Stand Your Ground laws to include places of worship.

This allows church-goers to carry for self-protection.

"Did Rosa Parks have a need to ride in the front of the bus? In a free country you do not have to prove a need to exercise your God-given right," Representative Greg Babinec said.

Under this bill people can use lethal force against issues like a break-in without criminal or civil penalties. The pastor at Brookside Baptist said people need to be held to a higher standard of responsibility.

"If my child is struck or another child is struck, it's the responsibility of the person that used that deadly force. I think at that point we need to make sure we're holding people accountable when they exercise those rights," Pastor Danny Stockstill said.

Security at Rhema Bible Church said no matter the size of the congregation, it's important to train security staff to be armed, rather than the average church-goer.

"I've been on some of those ranges and I can tell you with some of those people, even after 50 rounds, they can't hit what they're shooting at. So just because you have a concealed carry license, doesn't mean you're an expert marksman," Larry Johnson said.

The security director said to be armed in a church, training should go beyond the hours required for a concealed carry permit. If the bill does pass, that decision will go to individual churches.

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