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Proposal looks at broadening gun regulations for churches at schools

Inside the church is a place most consider safe.

Posted: Feb 14, 2018 11:25 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Inside the church is a place most consider safe.

"We think about houses of worship, that's the last thing we would even like to imagine or have to even think about," said Senior Pastor Jeff Lee, Blackhawk Community Church.

For Lee, who also runs Toccoa Security Consulting, he says many safe places, like churches, are becoming targets for danger.

"It's a balancing act," he said, "What do we need to do to keep our schools safe? What do we need to do to keep our houses of worship safe?"

Some Indiana lawmakers think an answer could be in Senate Bill 33

The proposal would allow legal gun owners to carry a gun at churches located on school grounds. That's only if the gun holder is attending worship service in the church or is a church volunteer or employee. Churches can also prohibit it from their campus as well.

On social media we wanted to get your opinion on Facebook and Twitter

Lee, who often visits churches for security consulting, says over the last five years, statistics point to 70 deadly force incidents at churches on average in the U.S. per year. Statistics also show that 2017 was considered a record year for violence. 

"It continues to get worse and worse," he said.

While there are many differing opinions on whether or not guns should be allowed at churches in general, Lee says he believes with the proper training and trust it could go a long way in keeping others safe.

"Sadly we understand that we have to be ready to meet force with force whether it is inside a school, or whether it's inside a church," he said, "and unfortunately that's just the world we live in. We just have to make sure that when we are preparing for that that we don't contribute to the problem."

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