Is it okay for Catholics to own firearms so they can protect themselves and their loved ones?


But guns are made for one reason only. To shoot and kill. Or threaten to shoot and kill.

Scalpels are use for a plethora of things.

Silly argument.


I’ll give my personal opinion here because I do not have doctrine to back it up. :wink:

Short answer is yes. Catholics can own firearms for whatever reason they see fit. Defence, collection, hunting, etc. The key here is still “do no harm”.

Having said that (and seeing as I have no need or want to collect them), unless I live in an area similar to the wild, wild, west, where my family is in constant danger, I do not see the need to put myself in a position to harm somebody worst than I would have if I hadn’t owned one.

Thank the Lord, I live in a country where guns are not the norm, and the general population do not own one. The law is generally followed, and although there are some dodos who go out shooting or bombing people every now and then, it is fairly safe.

I did grow up in a fairly dangerous situation though, where mom had to sleep with a .38 under her pillow (no kidding), although again, thank the Lord nothing happened, but I do know of someone who “accidentally” shot someone because of road rage, just because he had a gun in his car for his “protection”. (The guy he shot died, yes, tragic.)

So, unless the situation is dire, I would rather not have firearms…just because it opens up the possibility of me harming someone “accidentally”.


Canada has much stricter gun laws and our homicide rate is much lower than the US’s… I’m not going to go so far as to clam a direct causation there (I realize there are many factors that influence crime rates), but I would challenge your claim that America’s unique fascination with guns is due to divine providence. I think most Catholics in most of the world would challenge that claim.


I don’t think the Constitution should be dismissed so cavalierly. Where does God garantee the right against self-incrimination (the 5th Amendnent). Seems to me Confession is nothing if not all about self-incrimination. Yes, fundamental human rights come from God, but there’s something to be said for legal protections.


Of course Catholics can own firearms. Jesus even commands the Apostles to buy swords, to sell their cloaks if need be.


The Seal of Confession ensures that the contents of a Confession can never be used against the penitent. Confession is about forcing the penitent to confront his sins, that God may deliver him from them. Self-incrimination, on the other hand, involves publicly testifying against yourself. In fact, the Sanhedrin would not accept self-incriminating testimony, but would only convict a defendant based on the testimony of at least two credible witnesses other than the accused. The Sanhedrin also recognized the right to call witnesses in one’s defense. Daniel 14 affirms the right of the accused to cross-examine hostile witnesses. Everything about Jesus’ trial was illegal under Jewish law, which Jesus affirms by telling them to question the witnesses and objects to being struck for criticizing Caiaphas.


An example of a just aggressor would be a homeowner firing on an intruder. Though the intruder has not actually attempted to harm him or those in his charge, the very act of home invasion creates a presumption of hostility, and the homeowner need not wait to discern the intruder’s intentions before neutralizing the threat. Therefore, an intruder has no right to self-defense even after being fired upon. Were he to kill the homeowner, he would be liable for murder, even if his original intention was merely theft and a video showed that the homeowner brandished and shot first.


Sorry if it sounds like I was being dismissive. I was being everything but that. I am a firm proponent of the Constitution and believe that most of our troubles in this country would be solved if we actually followed it, which we don’t. Not by a long shot. The Bill of Rights is based on the presumption that we already have those rights and it restricts the government from violating those rights. One of the unfortunate consequences of the Bill of Rights is that many presume that it only restricts the government to those things which are specifically mentioned, which is not the case. Hence, the tenth amendment (which our congress almost totally ignores).

If you accept that man is the source of rights, any rights, then you also must accept that man has the power to take away those rights. I will never accept that.

The purpose of government is to preserve our rights and freedoms and nothing more. And to tax us the least amount possible to accomplish those protections. Our government today is a runaway train, far, far exceeding its intended powers. If we actually followed the Constitution, I would dare say that we would have about 80 percent less government than we now have. No president in my time has honored his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution. If you are a Democrat and support the Democrat party, you are an enemy of the Constitution. If you are a Republican and support the Republican party, you are an enemy of the Constitution. You can’t love the Constitution and support the groups which fight against it.


Not really. Some people own guns for sport. Some people own them for collections. Some own them to stop or injure their aggressor, but not to kill them. But that’s beside the point. I own a gun to shoot and kill and you better believe that I won’t hesitate to use it if ever I need to.


Canada also has a significantly smaller population, only around 30 million. We have 325 million. Of course by the numbers they’re going to have less gun related homicide than the US.


And we all know that the Acts of the Apostles is FILLED with sword play!


It is perfectly fine for a Catholic to own a firearm in accordance with the law and for a reasonable purpose, which might be for protection, for killing game to eat, for use in their work as a law enforcement officer/ security guard/ military service person etc., or just for hobby use such as target shooting.

The Catholic has the responsibility to comply with the civil laws (in most cases - obviously if you are in a wartime resistance situation with oppressive laws this wouldn’t apply), to use the weapon responsibly (including taking a training course if not already trained and knowledgeable about the gun), and to take reasonable precautions so others are not hurt by the gun (such as locking it away from children, etc.)

It is also okay for a Catholic to choose to not own a gun because they are against private gun ownership for whatever reason, but their opinions are not the teaching of the Church.


This has almost nothing to do with what I said. I limited myself to a Catholic context, and the reasoning was explained immediately after the part you quoted:

Please don’t cherry-pick my comments

While this might apply to most guns, there are guns designed mostly, or solely, for sporting events. Wikipedia’s sport pistol page has a few examples.

Of course, when the time came to use the swords, He told them to back off.

There’s a difference between “made for” and “owned for”.

The problem here, from a Catholic perspective, is that permission for self-defense is sort of predicated upon the fact that there is no intent to unnecessarily take human life (CCC 2263 - 2264).


Of course it is.


You make that statement like some people don’t need shot?


Abortion is condemned also.


I said “submit”. I don’t know if it was God’s Providence or not. I do know that it was a provision recognizing the pre-existing right to keep and bear arms, and safeguarding it so that a militia could be called up if needed.

I can tell you that not only do I admire Canada for being a more polite, civil, orderly, law-abiding society than the US, but I am, at least on an ideal and theoretical basis, a Catholic monarchist. I deeply question the American colonists’ breaking with the Crown.


I said per capita. Specifically about 2 per 100 000 vs 4 per 100 000.


Appreciating you saying that. I appreciate the fact that our legal Chief of State openly talks about Christ during her annual Christmas address (if not also at other times)… something our elected politicians would never do here.


Remind me never to walk into your house with only your husband’s permission… :open_mouth: :rofl:

Welcome to CAF, @RuthAnne!

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