- (Photo: Reuters/Khaled Abdullah)
A Texas pastor who described himself as a "strong believer in the Second Amendment" held a class on concealed carry at his church.
John Miller, pastor of the Heights Baptist Church in San Angelo, helped oversee a concealed carry class at his church.
"Everybody had a great time; a successful event," said Miller in an interview with NRANews earlier this year. "We had 16 people attending. We had several more who had planned to come but because of circumstances were prevented from coming."
Miller explained to NRANews that his church community being about a hundred miles from the border was a reason for holding the class.
Larry Arnold, legislative director for the Austin-based Texas Concealed Handgun Association (TCHA), told The Christian Post that he supports the idea of those with a Concealed Handgun License bringing firearms to church.
"I carry every time I go to church, including when I sit in the loft with the choir. As a Texas concealed carry instructor, I also know how many church members I've trained," said Arnold.
"I think the hundred or so members CHL Jeanne Assam saved at the New Life Church shooting would agree," added Arnold, mentioning a 2009 incident wherein security guard Assam stopped a shooter who had opened fire and killed two people.
Arnold also told CP that he commended the efforts of pastor Miller and felt that in Texas there is much support for concealed carry in church.
"Here in Texas concealed carry in church was prohibited the first two years after 1995, when our CHL law was passed. In 1997, however, the restriction was lifted. Since then there have been no problems with CHLs in church," said Arnold.
"Churches in Texas can prohibit concealed carry on their property by posting the '30.06 sign' (From Texas penal code section 30.06), but no church that I know of has posted one. The comments I get from my congregation and members of other churches, as an instructor, are overwhelmingly positive."
In August, Public Religion Research Institute released a poll wherein 55 percent of respondents who identified themselves as tea party members said they supported allowing people to carry guns to church. This contrasted with 38 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents, and 9 percent of Democrats.
Also according to the PRRI poll, about three-quarters of respondents said they opposed the concealed carry of guns into worship facilities.
Pastor John Miller of the Heights Baptist Church in San Angelo, Calif., did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.