Church Security Addressed in New Law

Church security is needed in light of the vulnerability of churches. This is a photo of hands folded in prayer.This week, reports on a new law in Mississippi that is highlighting the need for church security. The law permits members to carry guns into their churches. Governor Phil Bryant signed the bill earlier this month.

The Church Protection Act

The new law gives church governing bodies the authority to form armed security teams. Those on the team must have firearms training. However, the law does not require those individuals to have a gun permit to carry a holstered weapon.

This new law has a basis in the “castle doctrine” that allows for an individual to protect himself, his family and his property. Here, the security teams would act in self-defense of the church and its members.

One church in the state has created a comprehensive security team that includes members who are law enforcement and medical professionals. The security extends beyond the sanctuary, as well, as security team members monitor the parking lots and greet churchgoers a the door.

Charleston, South Carolina

The law is a response to the Charleston, South Carolina church shooting where nine people were killed during a prayer meeting. That incident involved a white man who opened fire in a historic African American church, the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015.

Critics argue that the law is another step in furthering the proliferation of guns in public places. Supporters say churches now have the ability to protect themselves.

Church Security Needed

While Mississippi’s new law may be controversial, it does bring attention to the need for more security in churches. They are lagging behind other institutions.

By their very nature, churches are vulnerable. They welcome strangers and are places of non-violence. While in attendance, members are involved in prayer or contemplative thought. They are not in a mindset that would be on the lookout for external threats.

Because of these reasons churches are easy targets to those who want to do harm to others.

A less-controversial alternative for church security is to post security guards. Their presence would act as a deterrent and be a symbol of security for members. The officers at American Security Force are trained for multiple situations and would seamlessly and respectfully provide security for churchgoers. If you are concerned about keeping your members safe, call us today at 877-722-8585 to see how we can help.