D003 TOPIC: WEAPONS
Gun Free Zones
PROPOSER: Garvey, Canon Victoria
ENDORSED BY Smith, Mr. Newland; Exner, The Rev. William
PAGE NUMBER(S) FOR REFERENCE
Blue Book: p. N/A; Constitution & Canons: p. N/A
HOUSE OF INITIAL ACTION / LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
HB / Social and Urban Affairs
CURRENT STATUS: Filed
REVIEW STATUS (PB&F, CONSTITUTION, CANONS): None required
Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention
calls for every parish and every diocesan place of work to declare their
establishments as Gun Free Zones.
Research indicates that both open carry and concealed carry create significant risk to public safety and do little to provide safety to the gun carrier. In a study funded by the National Institute of Health and published in the American Journal of Public Health, November 2009, epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault; people carrying a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not carrying a
gun. In state legislatures across the country, gun activist groups are bringing pressure for laws allowing concealed weapons permits to carry guns into houses of worship. Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana signed such a bill into law in 2010. The 22th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia heard arguments in April 2012 to overturn a 2010 law against weapons in religious establishments. In fact, guns can be brought into places of worship in Georgia under current law, with approval of the leaders of the institution, as long as firearms are
secured. In other states, such as Utah, it remains unlawful with or without a permit to carry a firearm in churches if posted. Laws vary from state to state, but posting Gun Free Zone decals is one way for parishes and dioceses to exercise private property rights on behalf of community safety. Posting of this status shall be easily visible for parishioners, staff and visitors to see as they enter the building.