Taking guns into places of worship is now easier in LA

Louisiana has new rules for firearms in churches
Published: Aug. 14, 2018 at 8:57 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A new law in Louisiana has made it easier to carry concealed guns into places of worship.

But there are mixed reactions to the change.

Until Aug. 1, Louisiana law required 8 hours of annual tactical training and church permission to carry inside a place of worship.

A new law waiving that requirement has widespread support. Just ask local criminologist Wayne Nissen.

"That's too laborious to put 8-hour tactic shooting because that's not what it is anyway. It's a familiarization with your weapon."

While the new law lifts the yearly tactical training requirement to conceal carry in a church, there are exceptions.

Those include if the pastor or church authority, for example, wants that requirement to stay in place; or, if the building owner's insurance policy requires it, as well.

Firearms instructor Joel Cheney says some pastors still plan on conducting training.

"We're still going to, you know, get together and handle our firearms around each other because it's totally different in a real-life situation as opposed to, 'Hey, we're going to go to the range,'" Cheney said, recalling those conversations.

One local church official supports the new law and argues that the tactical training requirement gave no guidelines, potentially giving churches a false sense of security that could get someone killed.

Churches, synagogues and mosques choosing to allow concealed carry still must inform their members of the decision.

And concealed handguns still are not allowed in places of worship located on school property.

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