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Bill aims to protect places of worship

Empower Wisconsin | Feb. 13,  2020

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — Aiming to protect places of worship from violence, Republican lawmakers are proposing a bill that affirms the rights of concealed carry permit holders to arm themselves in centers of faith.

The legislation follows recently enacted laws in Indiana and Texas that specifically allow parishioners to carry in places of worship. The law saved untold lives in Texas, when a gunman who opened fire in the sanctuary of the West Freeway Church of Christ was shot and killed by an armed worshipper.

Wisconsin has experienced its own tragedies in the growing list of attacks on places of worship. In 2012, a gunman killed six people at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek. Four people were injured, including the temple president and a responding police officer.

The Wisconsin bill would apply to all places of worship, including those within school zones. Current state law prohibits church-goers within a school zone from carrying a gun — from exercising the right to protect themselves and their fellow worshippers.

“This bill would allow worshippers to decide how best to protect themselves from those who intend to do them harm — in keeping with their constitutional right of free exercise,” states a legislative memo seeking co-sponsorship.

Faith centers also would have the right to post signs prohibiting concealed carry on the premises. Violators would be subject to the same penalties under current law.

Sen. David Craig (R-Town of Vernon), one of the bill’s co-authors, said the legislation upholds some of the most basic rights under the constitution.

“Regardless of where your place of worship is, you should have every right to protect yourself just like every other person who worships in every other place in Wisconsin,” Craig said.

The bill, as of Wednesday, had one Democrat co-sponsor. Rep. Nick Milroy of South Range, in Wisconsin’s far north, signed on, according to Craig.

Craig acknowledges the bill faces an uphill battle with an abbreviated floor session schedule. Even if it passes, Gov. Tony Evers is a gun-control Democrat not likely to assist Second Amendment rights.

But the West Freeway Church of Christ incident underscored the importance of concealed carry. Gun control liberals mocked the Texas law just weeks before the armed church-goer saved the lives of worshippers from a crazed gunman.

“We have learned many times over that there is no such thing as a gun free zone. Those with evil intentions will violate the law and carry out their heinous acts no matter what,” Texas state Sen. Donna Campbell, co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. “It makes no sense to disarm the good guys and leave law-abiding citizens defenseless where violent offenders break the law to do great harm.”

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1 thought on “Bill aims to protect places of worship

  • Matt – somehow far too many Christians think that a mass murderer would never murder anyone in church:

    “On Occasion, when speaking to a group about my experience and my research on prosecutor misconduct someone will ask why I had a gun in church. Churches are not immune from mass shootings. In fact:
    “CHURCH SHOOTINGS HAPPEN OFTEN ENOUGH THAT THERE’S A NATIONAL CHURCH SHOOTING
    DATABASE A dig into the data reveals that not all of them are moti-
    vated by prejudice, but a significant portion are.” (Pacific Standard)
    “SCOTTS, Mich. (RNS) — “Did they know how many rounds a
    gunman fired into First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas?
    Did they know how many little boys and girls he killed?
    Did they know there was a second violent church attack that same day in Fresno, Calif.?
    Barry Young’s voice rose as he led an “intruder awareness and response training” for church personnel this month at Prairie Baptist Church in Scotts, Mich.
    “We’ve got to get church leaders’ heads out of the sand.” (USA Today)”

    For more information on this topic, email: [email protected] GoToJustGrandma.com or go to my website: www. GoToJustGrandma.com/contact and request the chapter, not in this book, Freedom, Fear Fanning, Faith and Firearms”

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