Church Security & Legally Armed Parishioners

[quote=“flamingpuppet, post:40, topic:590326, full:true”]
Right. Self-defense requires shooting until the assailant is no longer a threat. No more, no less.
[/quote] yep, thatd be the definition. Stop the threat and stop responding the threat exactly then.

Ok, something I need to make clear here:

In states where a permit/license is required, or where the law states you cant carry in church without authorization, please dont carry without being duly licensed, trained, and authorized by your local Diocese.

I’d made a statement earlier about “…judged by 12 than carried by 6,” well, to be clear, that isnt how I handle, or suggest anyone handle, carrying in church. That can range from a strong misdemeanor to a felony, so please dont put laws aside at Church. My statement was meant as covering posted properties in my state where the law says the proprietor may ask me to leave,not where it’s a criminal offense. I wont advocate breaking laws nor should anyone do so.

I always carry when I go to Mass, and no one knows because there is no need for them to know. There would be little to no reason to in the past, but unfortunately our culture has become so terribly rotten that we’re left with little other choice but to stand up and defend ourselves.

One teen was murdered and a second teen was critically wounded in an incident just outside my Church, less than a month ago, and the town is considered a “nice area”. That hasn’t convinced me to leave my gun at home.

All I can say is to use your best judgement.


If your wife has severe anxiety about going into public spaces without being armed she should seek counseling, unless you legitimately live in an area of the world where these attacks happen regularly.

On the flip side, most people don’t feel safe when someone with a gun is around. They see a person with a gun on their hip or elsewhere in a supermarket, even in an open carry state, and avoid that person like the plague and are worried that person could be a crazy or likely to pull a gun if even a minor dispute ensued for some unrelated reason.


I’d like to cover this, along with other replies regarding a counselor, therapy, etc.

First, I am not fearful or paranoid, I simply try to be prepared.
Second, I do have a (not the VA) therapist with whom I discuss PTSD stuff.
Third, I am a well adjusted person, have been re-integrated into the civilian world for no less than 27 years.
4. I am licensed in my state, have a non-resident license from another, and keep self-defense insurance. That sound like someone who is dangerous to anyone? Because if it does, I wanna know the public’s definition of dangerous. To me, since I am quite well trained, licensed, and VERY discrete so that people do not see my concealed handgun(s), plus I’m situationally aware at all times, etc., simply by virtue of being in the same building as I, other people’s safety level increases.

Certainly not the loose cannon type that responds to non-lethal situations with lethal force. And, I take refresher legal classes given by a local prosecuting attorney to ensure I’m always up to date legally as to lethal force situations etc.

In other words, I am a responsibly armed, licensed, legally carrying citizen and being close to me in public makes you safer because I’ll protect you against crazy people who start shooting people randomly, and I am certainly qualified to do so, I’m simply not an LEO. Funny, one of my best friends from the Air Force is now a SVU lieutenant & I asked him what he thinks. He told me him and his guys like having guys like me out there. I’ve no delusion about being a citizen cop or anything like that, but if I saw a cop pinned down by criminal gunfire, I sure know how to help out. How this makes people like me, that meaning "responsibly armed’ citizens, any danger to anyone, I’ve no clue.

My wife’s fear is not paralyzing by the way. It is well founded on crime data. My own alert level goes up any time I enter a crowd that is “supposed to be” peaceful because that, to a criminal, is simply an easy target situation. Use the sheep and sheep dog analogy if you wish, but whatever. I am not hyper-vigilant about carrying, I am the exactly proper amount of vigilant based upon the location I find myself in.
I’d so very much like to educate more people about safe gun carrying, use, defense, etc. Can’t do it from this keyboard, so i proposed a question that has since been answered.
Blessings all,


I am totally OK with having people with CWPs carrying at Mass, and if I were the bishop of a diocese, I would extend blanket permission for this and make it publicly known, possibly with signs on the doors of churches welcoming CWP holders.

I have a CWP but I rarely carry, and I would not carry at Mass because our state forbids it without the pastor’s permission.

Think of the recent church incident in Texas, and ask yourself, was it better that the CWP holder was armed, or should he not have been armed?

And yes, it’s sad that things have come to this, but it is just the reality of modern life in the United States. I don’t like it any better than anyone else does, but it is what it is.

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Agree on the judgement call. I happen to have had permission to carry when we first joined, from the lead pastor. Then he retired. New guy, whom I had a loooong chat with on this, and a good one, said the archdiocese won’t allow him to give me permission, but he’s not going to check me at the door either. From that point forward, since I’d been carrying at mass with zero issues for years, it was understood that I am “unofficially” ok to continue carrying, and some of my suggestions regarding building security such as the entrance doors being secured from outside entry during mass (ppl would have to knock for an usher to let them in), have been implemented.
The pastoral staff went to ALICE training for active shooter response with our parochial school on the property. Since there was a large casualty mass shooting near us last Fall, my security concerns seem to be listened to a bit more, praise God.

So, here we have what is essentially, permission as far as the law goes, but not “official” from the diocesan level. As it is from the local level, it meets the letter of the law. Lastly, I know lots and lots of people who are aware I carry everywhere, and they have told me umpteen times they feel better during mass when I usher because of it…but again, it is unofficial and at local level.

I’d like to see the diocese, for that matter the entire Roman See, authorize this where law permits.


Here I remind you how I ended my OP. Note the “rhetorical questioing” part particularly.
I’m good at my church, thank God, but many others in the state are not. The state, and IMO federal laws need to be changed to allow for this…

All true.
I carry a gun because I’m not strong enough to carry a cop around. I’m a permit holder, train regularly and if I’m ever in a “situation,” my first responsibility is to avoid rash action that could get an innocent hurt.
I carry a seven shot single action, btw, or a snubnose. Wild, rapid and indiscriminate fire isn’t even an option.


Not seeing how abiding by the law is risking lives. We are to obey just laws, to break a just law is to commit sin.

Leave your sidearm outside of the Church.

There is a difference between living in fear and exercising your right to carry a firearm.

I humbly submit that if you feel so unsafe you must carry in most places, it is time to consider moving to a less dangerous neighborhood.


So do you wait in her business place with your gun for her entire shift?

Maybe you can stand outside the doors of the Church brandishing your weapon? If your neighborhood is that dangerous, donate money for paid security professionals at your masses, metal detectors at the entrances, etc.

Your fear is not a reason to violate the state law, your bishop and your pastor

Jesus went to the the temple and saw that money lenders were selling animals for sacrifice only for profit, and He took a stick and beat the money lenders, destroying their tables, and insulting them. If Jesus Himself was righteously violent in God’s house in order to prevent it being violated, couldn’t we do the same in carrying a gun to mass in order to protect ourselves and other innocent people from being murdered?

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I understand reasonable caution, but the odds of a random hostile shooter opening fire in YOUR parish at the Mass YOU’RE at is astronomical low… I don’t have any stats to backup my statement, but I’m 100% confident that you are far far more likely to be hit by a bus or truck while crossing the street. I would respectfully suggest that the OP’s wife’s fear of attending Mass is not healthy.

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Btw: my response was written in reply to the “if I die, best to die in church” mentality. I honestly don’t know how I would respond to the archdiocese not allowing concealed carry in Mass. I can only say that it’s a topic to pray about.

I’ll just say this… thank God I don’t live in such a dangerous part of the planet. Frankly, I couldn’t live my life like that. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who even knows anyone who has any direct experience with mass shootings… I know it could happen… but I could also be hit by a bus tomorrow. It’s very low on my radar.

Even during the couple years I spent in a “third world” country with a homicide rate of 150 per 100 000 i didn’t have the level concern you’re expressing. Maybe I’m just a fool… but now that I’m in Canada where the homicide rate is a mere 2 per 100 000, I will be more focussed on avoiding being hit by A bus, which is far more likely.

Maybe it’s 100% prudent, and I’m just out to lunch, but when I read the views of some Americans on this forum (or Fr Z’s blog), I get the impression that you all live in a literal war zone… and it sounds absolutely horrific.

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The whole world is a war zone. Police cruisers are often seen outside synagogues in well to do neighborhoods near me. 25 years ago it was unthinkable that a person would shoot up a church.Now it’s happening. When seconds count the police are just minutes away.

I have thought that myself. You would have the priest there to administer last rites and give viaticum (assuming it happened before communion), and you would have the graces of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Not sure if it would make one a martyr, but that, too, is a possibility.

I am retired and, aside from a bit of traveling I hope to do in coming years (and some of that will just be going back to places I’ve been before, such as Paris, London, and the US Southwest), I’ve done pretty much everything I would ever hope to in life. Aside from the raising of my son, and the hurt it would cause my parents, I’m good to go now, if God calls me. I wouldn’t mind a month or so at a monastery, to purge out my sinfulness with daily Mass and easy access to priests, but that is not possible in my circumstances, so I guess I’ll have to make do with my daily duty and the circumstances that I do have. I have already made provisions in my will for thirty traditional Latin Gregorian Masses celebrated by a priest of the SSPX.

Police process crime scenes far more often than they stop crimes while (or before) they’re being committed.

Yep, that’s CAF for you. A good place to get one’s priorities right.

People discussing how wonderful it would be to die in church?

Now I’ve seen everything.

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