Lawmakers debate over allowing guns in Missouri churches - KMOV.com

Lawmakers debate over allowing guns in Missouri churches

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The Missouri statehouse in January, 2018. (Credit: KMOV) The Missouri statehouse in January, 2018. (Credit: KMOV)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Local lawmakers plan to debate news laws that would loosen gun restrictions in Missouri including allowing guns in church without the consent of the clergy.

One of the proposals would allow a person to bring their gun into a church,temple,synagogue, house of worship unless the church posts a sign saying weapons are not allowed.

However, the clergy is pushing back.  

Reverend Mike Angell of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion has joined several religious leaders to denounce the proposal. 

 Angell said the debate over what images and words appear in the house of worship has been going on for years but requiring signage is offensive.  

“What we post is very important to us. Being required to post this sign to keep weapons out of our houses of worship is an offense to us,” said Angell.

The clergy acknowledged that there are 'faithful people of goodwill' that are gun owners including clergy members. But they are looking for lawmakers to consider new legislative priorities.

“Such as banning bumpstocks, limiting high capacity magazines, better access and resources for mental health care and the strengthening of background checks,” said Rev. George Smith.

But Michael Meyer, a firearms instructor and gun rights advocate, disagrees. 

“A good guy with a gun will bring peace to a church that's under attack it's as simple as that,” said Meyer.

Saint Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson said religious leaders will fight back if lawmakers pass the bill.

“How we do it at this point is simply that we know that we would not be above lawsuits or other actions to prevent the bill from going into effect.”

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