ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

CCW and Churches: Does the state have a role to play?

Updated on August 15, 2012

Our Constitution makes it very clear that there should be a hands off approach to any entanglement between government and churches. The Supreme Court has amplified it though the years and the lawmakers have pretty clear direction that if they make any laws impacting churches there must either be

(1) a darn good reason why, or

(2) that the law impacts generally everyone the same way and that the churches' religious charter has nothing to do with the law (i.e., safety codes allowing certain maximum occupation of a building based on size).

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 states this in no uncertain terms much to the dismay of a number of local governments who have been successfully sued for their overreaching laws.

A church is a 501(c)3 charity, the same as thousands of other charities. These range from the local animal shelter to the "Ladies of the Green Hat Society." There's nothing special about being a 501(c)3, it's just a way to notify the Federal government that one is a tax-exempt organization.

Yet, of the thousands of 501(c)3 types in many states, the legislation specifically singled out only one type, churches, as being off limits to CCW holders.

Many of these states also ban CCW holders from schools, bars, and other places but these almost always have some connection with the state... they are regulated in some fashion or another, and answer to the state for certain aspects of their business. This nexus simply does not hold true for churches.

The sole reason that the legislature picked the churches out from all the other charities to ban CCW on the premises is simply because of religious reasons. Someone, somewhere, thought it would be an offense against God for a CCW holder to carry in a church.

This was made very clear when Michigan was considering CCW. The quote from the Metro Times makes this very clear:

"Tom Hendrickson, director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, says the idea of mixing guns with religion and liquor doesn't make his day. " ‘Law enforcement is of the opinion that these are places where people shouldn't be armed.' "

Mr. Hendrickson can only justify his comments about churches via ultimately appealing to an argument based upon religious views concerning the "sanctity" of the church. Without the sanctity argument, there is no uniqueness to a church as an organization that requires or demands special treatment in this particular law.

If there was any actual reason it would logically apply equally to every other charity which holds group meetings, and the law would then have been written to also cover them.

It is not up to the state to determine what behaviour a church member must discuss with, and seek approval from his pastor, or what the state-mandated default position a church should have concerning the theological question of self-defense.

Since this portion of the law cannot be justified under either condition (1) or (2), or the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 it is clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment. I cannot imagine a court holding this section up for approval.

Churches should not be mentioned in any CCW law, period. If the law provides that any private organization or business may post or otherwise observe a "gun free" environment, then any church would fall under the same regulation under condition (2) listed above. They have full freedom along with every other organization to determine their own philosophy towards this issue.

I invite you to browse around and look at some of my other hubs. I am sure that you will find something of interest to you.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)