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Jun 6, 2010 11:53 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Guns in Churches Bill Being Reworked

Churches are places where people come together and worship, but some state legislators believe churches need to have better security.

Reverend Harold Trahan, pastor at St. Mary Catholic Church, said "I hope that if they do pass this law, that'll be up to the local pastor to say I do not want this implemented in my church."

Reverand Trahan has been a pastor for 41 years at St. Mary Catholic Church in Lafayette. He says he's never once felt his safety was threatened.

"I have never seen anyone with a gun in a church and I don't want anyone to start,” Trahan said. “I don't believe that children should be seeing people carry firearms in the church, I'm very much against it."

Under the proposed bill, before a handgun could be brought into a church or any place of worship, the entire congregation would have to be notified first.

Mark Riley, a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, "if a minister is scared or upset about it then he is going to scare and upset his congregation. If he handles it properly then I don't think he's going to scare the congregation any."

The proposed bill would have churches, mosques and synagogues apply for a concealed gun permit, so the decision of whether or not to use handguns for security would be up to the head of the church.

Ronald Sarver, a member of Asbury United Methodist Church, "I think every church needs to make their own decision about security and if it's using handguns, then it's up to them to decide."

Riley added, "I think that folks have a right to carry a firearm if they wish to under the second amendment and while I don't know that it's necessary to carry them in church--it shouldn’t be. It doesn't bother me if folks do and it may make some people feel more secure."

The proposed bill has been rejected twice this year, once by the house and more recently by the senate. It's now being reworked and is expected to be up for debate again soon.

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