In answer to a crying need that no one else knew existed (except the bill's four co-sponsors including Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, R-Joplin), Mrs. Davis has pre-filed HB 1232, which would remove the restrictions against carrying guns into churches.
Mrs. Davis spoke on the issue in a column last month:
One concern I have with the current law is that guns are prohibited in churches. This means there is no defense for the members if a criminal act is attempted or perpetrated. There is a provision in another section of Missouri statues allowing an override of this prohibition, but why should this section of the law exist it at all? This subjects churches to state laws in an area where the state should be silent. It’s as though the state does not consider churches capable of defining acceptable standards within their own jurisdiction..
Churches do not belong to the state. Therefore the state is overstepping its bounds by taking gun-possession decisions away from the churches. The state would do well to delete this issue for the same reason that we do not dictate what people can do in the privacy of their own homes. Most of us were taught as children that the church is God’s house. Just think how differently things may have turned out if it were not for a heroic woman with a gun at the New Life Church in Colorado.
When well motivated and properly trained people demonstrate personal responsibility to protect themselves against law-breakers, it saves costs of law enforcement and human suffering. The State of Vermont does not require a permit to carry a concealed gun. Former Vermont Representative, Fred Maslack, went a step further in 2000 by introducing House Bill 760 which encouraged residents to protect themselves against crime. Under his bill, adults who choose not to own a firearm would be required to register their names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, and driver's license numbers with the state. "There is a legitimate government interest in knowing who is prepared to defend the state should they be asked to do so," Maslack says. This bill did not pass.
I am not intending to introduce anything like this, nor do I know of any other states entertaining this idea, but it shows how other people in our country feel about the benefits of gun ownership and the importance of being able to protect the innocent