Pastor: Nothing Wrong with Carrying Guns ‘This Side of Heaven’


A pastor in York, Pennsylvania, is teaching a handgun training class to willing congregants, stressing that there is nothing wrong with carrying a gun “on this side of heaven.”

The pastor, 59-year-old Gary Smith, launched the handgun training class, which he calls Point Blank Defense, about two months ago.

According to the Associated Press, Smith said that “we live in a wrecked world” and carrying a gun is part of life “on this side of heaven.” He stressed that carrying a gun is part of life whether you are Christian or not, and made clear that the option to carry belongs to pastors, as well. Smith said, “I don’t see anything wrong with a pastor or others carrying.”

Smith has already had about 100 students in the class, where he teaches the NRA’s basic pistol course. His goals in teaching the class are to prepare people for proper gun use and to prevent people from having avoidable accidents with their handguns.

Smith reacted to the accidental shootings that worry some and traumatize others by saying, “The more I’ve learned, the more reverent and fearful I’ve become to make sure something doesn’t happen.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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