Should Houses of Worship Use Guns for Protection?

While carrying firearms may be an appropriate security strategy, a security risk analysis should be conducted. Without a security risk analysis, you will not be able to make the best decision possible since you will not be armed with relevant facts.

If at the end of a security risk analysis conducted by a qualified professional, the decision is made to have a security team carry firearms, following are a few basic steps that should be considered assuming that your House of Worship already has a Security Team in place that is well trained and equipped.

1)Discuss with your insurance carrier. Your insurance carrier also has a wealth of information that may be helpful in the decision and planning process.

2) Discuss with your local police department to ensure that you meet governmental requirements. It is ideal if a local law enforcement officer is part of the church security team or at minimum your team has someone as a liaison contact to discuss plans and ideas with local law enforcement. Ask them to suggest a range to provide proper training.

3) The type of firearm, ammunition and gear must be decided and the reason for this and other decisions documented.

4) Not everyone on the team may want to carry a firearm nor should every person be assigned a firearm.

5) Document all training and ensure that training is monitored and continually revisited to meet changing threats and changes in law.

6) Make sure that all members selected to carry a weapon, are properly trained and licensed.

7) Prior to moving forward with selecting team members to carry make sure policies and procedures are in place to address the selection and training process to include the type of weapon and ammunition to carry, etc.

8) Make sure training and licensing is monitored and documented.

9) The more time you put into the planning process to implement this security strategy the more successful the outcome.

A main point in this communication is the completion of a Security Risk Analysis prior to making any change in your security program or prior to starting a security program so please take a few moments to review an overview of this important process prior to succumbing to pressure or guilt to make a decision to arm your security team.

Disclaimer:  The articles contained on this website are written for general information purposes only and are not intended to be, and should not be used as, a primary source for making security decisions. The owner of this website may not agree with all of the content contained within the enclosed articles and it is the responsibility of the end users and viewers to evaluate and seek out additional guidance as deemed appropriate for application by local leadership.