With open carry of handguns in Texas set to become law on January 1, First Baptist Church of Arlington has decided to allow congregants with concealed licenses to carry openly in church buildings if they so choose.
Arlington sits about 29 miles west of Dallas on I-30.
According to Fox News, First Baptist Church of Arlington “typically sees some 2,500 worshipers each Sunday.” And Senior Pastor Dennis Wiles said the church decided to allow open carry “after discussing the matter with its legal team” and congregants–“including police officers who already carry concealed guns.”
Wiles said, “We decided it was best to allow responsible people to do this if they choose.” He stressed that the matter can be revisited if there are any problems, but added, “When it comes to a church, I don’t think we’re going to see that much difference.”
News that First Baptist is embracing open carry comes on the heels of news that Kroger grocers in the Dallas area are doing the same. Forbes reported that Kroger will honor the law allowing the open carry of handguns by Texas concealed permit holders just as they honor gun laws in other states where their stores are located.
H-E-B Grocery stores, Whole Foods, and Randall’s are forbidding Texans to openly carry handguns in their stores.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com.