The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta will discuss this controversial subject this week.
The question before a three-judge panel for the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta Thursday is whether Georgia’s prohibition on firearms in places of worship conflicts with the promise of religious freedom in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
GeorgiaCarry.org, which brought the initial lawsuit, believes religious institutions, not Georgia law, should dictate if firearms are allowed inside, and they point to accounts of shootings in churches as examples of why guns are needed even while worshiping.
But lawyers for the state say the ban makes it possible for “worshipers to focus on spiritual activities” instead of “protective vigilance.”
We've had this discussion before, quite a few times. I honestly find it laughable that Christians insist there's nothing inconsistent with gun ownership or self-defense or concealed carry, even in church. Those images of Jesus with an AK come to mind.
OpenCarry.org is taking a slightly different tack this time. They're claiming that to deny the right to carry guns in church violates the 1st Amendment, limiting religions freedom.
I can't wait to see the results of this. Meantime, I have Georgia on my mind.But Jonathan Lowy, director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control group that is not a participant in the lawsuit, said there is no constitutional right to carry loaded guns in public.
“If you chose to have a loaded gun in your home to protect yourself, that’s your right. It’s a whole different issue when you bring that gun where me and my children and other families are just going about ... business.
And it would be even more dangerous, he said, if well-meaning, armed civilians, faced with a dangerous situation, begin shooting in an effort “to save the day.”
“Injecting more guns into more public places and being held by more people causes death and injury much more than it’s saved lives,” Lowy said.