Christian Gun Owners Disagree With Pope Francis' Statement That They Are 'Hypocrites'

(Photo: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead the weekly audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican, Rome, Italy, March 25, 2015.

Some Christian gun owners disagree with Pope Francis' statement that people who manufacture or invest in weapons cannot call themselves Christians.

Francis issued his strongest condemnation of guns during his visit to the Italian city of Turin on Sunday, saying, "If you trust only men, you have lost."

He added: "It makes me think of people, managers, businessmen who call themselves Christian and they manufacture weapons. That leads to a bit of distrust, doesn't it?"

The Bishop of Rome further condemned those who invest in the weapons industry, asserting, "duplicity is the currency of today, they say one thing and do another."

In response, many outraged Christians defended the ownership of guns, including a comment from AmmoLand.com reader Sonya who wrote, "I do trust GOD! It is people that do not follow the word of GOD that I distrust. I have carried a pistol for 35+ years. … I will continue to keep my weapon close, but my Bible is always kept closer."

Another reader, Deacon Thomas Lawson, called out the pope's use of body guards.

"And what, pray tell, do the Swiss Guards have as alternates to the large 'hatchets' they carry? Right! They have [a] stock of automatic weapons and an armory full of ammunition to protect Pope Francis," the deacon wrote on AmmoLand.com. "Let Pope Francis be the first to disarm before he advises others to do so! Even Saint Peter, the first 'pope,' carried a sword and cut off the ear of one of Jesus' captors when firearms were not invented yet!"

Twitter user Sydney posted, "Pope needs to stop being so political. Not your job to tell me I'm not Christian because I own a gun. Just teach me about Jesus, man."

One lifelong gun owner who describes himself as a humanist, however, agreed with the Pontiff.

"Pope says engaging in the weapons industry isn't Christian," wrote Twitter user Molehill Prophet. "I'm a lifelong gun owner standing with the pope. #PopeFrancis is the only honest man of cloth among us. He could almost turn this #Humanist into a #Catholic with his courage and truth."

Sunday was not the first time Francis has denounced the weapons industry. Last year, he referred to gun makers as "merchants of death." More recently, he noted that the weapons industry perpetuates war to make money, stating that the devil "enters through our wallets."

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