Author Topic: Carry in church  (Read 1102 times)

Raven3

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Carry in church
« on: February 18, 2018, 11:34:43 AM »
Does the latest change to the law now allow unlicensed persons to carry in church?  A presenter at a security conference I attended made this allegation based on the private ownership of church property and the wording of the change to church security teams.

TexasLawShield

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Re: Carry in church
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2018, 04:44:22 PM »
The changes in the law have no effect on whether you need an LTC to carry in a church (or anywhere outside your home, vehicle, or a place of business), even if you’re serving as a volunteer security officer. The new law pertaining to volunteer church security eliminates the requirement that churches contract with licensed security guards or licensed security companies for its protection. It does not affect the requirement that individuals may only carry a handgun (except certain places) with an LTC.

Texas Penal Code § 46.02 states that it is unlawful to carry a handgun unless you have a valid license to carry or are carrying the weapon on property under your control, a vehicle under your control, or a place of business under your control. This statute is the foundation of handgun carry and is unaffected by the church security laws you referenced.

Under the church security statute, a church member may serve as a member of a volunteer security team for that church. In fact, if he or she has an LTC, the member can carry a weapon while performing that service. Prior to this change, churches were required to hire licensed security officers through outside companies. Now church members are free to serve as security officers for the church, as long as they meet some simple requirements: (1) they must be volunteers, no compensation may be paid for service as members of the security team; and (2) security team members may not wear badges, uniforms, or any other attire that  contains the word “security” or gives the impression they are licensed security guards.

As long as they meet these requirements and have an LTC, church members may carry handguns while performing their duties.