Parishioners asked to attend church unarmed

MILWAUKEE Wed Nov 2, 2011 9:14am EDT

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MILWAUKEE (Reuters)- Roman Catholic bishops in Wisconsin are urging their parishioners not to bring weapons to church now that a new law permits state residents to carry concealed firearms.

"Intuitively, we understand that acts of violence, destruction, and murder are antithetical to the message and person of Jesus Christ and have no rightful place in our society, especially sacred places," the bishops said just before the law went into effect on Tuesday.

"We ask that all people seriously consider not carrying weapons into church buildings as a sign of reverence for these sacred spaces," they said.

The statement, issued by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki and four other bishops, said a decision on whether to ban weapons was up to individual churches.

Residents with a valid permit are allowed to carry concealed handguns, electric weapons such as stun guns or tasers, knives other than switchblades, and billy clubs.

Machine guns, short-barreled rifles and short-barreled shotguns remain prohibited.

An employer may bar an employee from carrying concealed weapons at work, but cannot prohibit an employee from keeping concealed weapons in the employee's vehicle, even if it is parked on employer property.

The law mandates four hours of instructor-led training to carry a concealed weapon, or completion of a hunter safety course through the state.

(Writing and reporting by John Rondy; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (19)
Spiffy wrote:
Now the criminals know where the easy unarmed targets are at.

Nov 02, 2011 12:07pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
JRlowkey wrote:
It’s the same thing that happened in Minnesota a few years back. Signs were posted banning guns on the premises, but most were taken down because there was no jump in gun violence like people had thought.

Nov 02, 2011 2:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
lemonfemale wrote:
No offense to the bishops but Jesus Himself told the disciples that if they did not own swords, they should sell their coats and buy them. Self defense. I recall a murder that took place in a church as well as a another violent crime that was stopped because a parishoner was armed. And a church worker who was beaten because her gun was in her car. Maybe the bishops should speak to the criminals and tell them to respect the sacred space.

Nov 02, 2011 4:18pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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