(POW News) – With the mass shooting at a Texas church still fresh in the minds of many ministerial leaders, they’re turning to law enforcement for tips on how to protect a house of worship.
There are different approaches. Some churches hire off-duty officers while others have members who serve on a security team. Often those members are concealed weapons permit holders.
Law enforcement agencies across the country have seen an uptick in requests for special training from churches. Many are seeking advice about how to handle those layperson security teams and their weapons.
A North Carolina sheriff says in the right circumstances and with proper training and planning, having armed people in church is OK. In many cases, it is even encouraged.
Nash County Sheriff Keith Stone tells WRAL-TV he wants people to be equipped and to know what to do individually and what their rights are collectively.
Some states have laws allowing guns in churches and also allowing churches to decide if they want to prohibit firearms.
The consensus for many church leaders – regardless of their choice of approach – is times have changed and armed security of some kind is something members want and need to know is in place.
Churches, like schools and medical facilities, because of their openness are considered by law enforcement to be “soft targets” for criminals.
Security training and partnering with law enforcement is seen by most as a way to harden those targets.