Guns in churches favored by Maryland sheriff

Last month's deadly mass shooting at a Texas church have some people calling for changes in Maryland's gun laws.

JOPPA, MD (WUSA9) - A Maryland sheriff is proposing a change in state gun laws to allow citizens to carry guns in houses of worship without the usual concealed carry permit.

“We’ve seen from across the country that no place is safe,” said Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.

Gahler said concerned pastors have been asking him for guidance on the issue in the wake of church shootings in Texas and Charleston, S.C.

RELATED: Expert says Texas shooting may be more than mental health issue

The proposed “Parishioner Protection Act of 2018” would allow legal handgun owners to carry handguns in houses of worship without the required state concealed carry permit as long as they have the written permission of congregation leaders and if they also have completed the handgun qualifications required to purchase a new handgun in the state.

Members of Harford County’s legislative delegation including Del. Kathy Szeliga and Sen. Wayne Norma, both Republicans, will sponsor a bill in the upcoming 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly.

Many pastors gathered Thursday at the Mountain Christian Church in Joppa for a training seminar on active shooter situations.

Wether or not individual congregations support guns in the pews,  the Gahler says all churches, synagogues and mosques should develop a security plan, and practice it.

© 2018 WUSA-TV


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