On March 29 the Mississippi Senate passed a bill that will allow each church to designate a certain number of congregants as armed guards for the defense of the congregation as a whole.
The measure–the Mississippi Church Protection Act (HB 786)–passed by a vote of 36-14.
According to Fox News, Senate Judiciary (Div. A) Committee Chairman Sean Tindell (R-Gulfport) pointed out that defense of church congregations is paramount following the June 2015 attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. He indicated that church members already have the means to defend themselves, but churches need the legal protections to allow members to do so. The Mississippi Church Protection Act provides that legal protection.
Tindell said, “The self-defense of these churches is a God-given right.”
The Mississippi Church Protection Act was vocally opposed by senator Hillman Frazier (D-Jackson), who wore a sheathed sword into the senate chamber. Frazier argued against defensive action by “[citing] the story of Jesus healing the high priest’s servant after a disciple cut off the servant’s ear as Jesus was being arrested.” He did not mention Luke 22:36, in which Christ emphasized the need for his swords, ostensibly for a defensive purpose. Christ said, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”
The Mississippi Church Protection Act also contains a provision barring the enforcement of any federal firearm law that violates Mississippi’s constitutional protections of the right to keep and bear arms. And it expands the ability to carry a handgun without a permit from simply carrying in a purse or bag to carrying a holstered firearm.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.