A bill is working its way out of the State House in Oklahoma focusing on guns and church.
In Oklahoma, a person has the right to self-protection using deadly force inside his home, car or place of business if faced with a deadly threat. House Bill 2988 is intended to clear up any legal loopholes and include churches as well.
“I think it’s a reality, I think we need to realize that churches are no longer 100 percent secure from outside force,” said Pastor Sam Smith of the Foundation Free Will Baptist Church in Grove, Okla.
Pastor Smith teaches CCW classes once a month, and carries a firearm at times in church. He believes protection is very important, even in a house of God.
Representative Mike Ritze, who authored the bill, noted instances of violence inside Oklahoma churches when writing it, including the 2009 slaying of Anadarko pastor, Carol Daniels, and the 2005 instance where Victory Christian Pastor Billy Joe Daugherty was punched.
“A guy that came right in and came right up to pulpit and he was standing there praying with folks and the gentlemen hauled off and hit him,” said Smith.
“We are finding now that the courts are still kind of vague whether a place of worship is a business, so we want to just clarify the language,” said Ritze.