Bill Would Allow Guns Inside Churches That Also Have Schools On Property
INDIANAPOLIS -- A new bill considered by Indiana state lawmakers would allow those who are legally allowed to carry firearms to have them legally on a church property that also has a school on its property.
Republican State Senator Jack Sandlin is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 88, which he says would give those churches the option to allow its members who aren't law enforcement officers to carry guns into the building even if the church has its own private school.
Indiana does not permit any person, including a person licensed to carry a handgun, to possess a firearm on school property, including private schools and preschools. However, a person may have a concealed firearm on school property only if they are specifically allowed by that district's school board.
"We've seen instances around the country where houses of worship have been attacked," says Sen. Sandlin pointing to the massacre at the Tree of Life – Or L'Simcha Congregation, a synagogue in Pittsburgh. That's where 11 people were shot and killed while seven others were injured on Oct. 27, 2018.
A total of 26 people were murdered and 20 others were injured in a church shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Nov. 5, 2017.
In another church massacre, nine people were murdered at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015.
"As people choose to go and worship, if they want to have that extra measure of security, the state shouldn't stand in the way," says Sen. Sandlin.
Photo: Getty Images / Roberto Machado