Episcopal leaders warn concealed guns ruling could threaten safety of churches, other ‘sensitive places’

Episcopal leaders warn concealed guns ruling could threaten safety of churches, other ‘sensitive places’

Episcopal leaders joined a “friend of the court” brief in a gun control case going before the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3. Photos: Reuters [Episcopal News Service] The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 will hear arguments in a gun control case that could limit how far cities and states may go to regulate when Americans can bring guns into public places , potentially increasing the risk of violence at houses of worship. The case focuses on a 108-year-old New York law that requires gun owners to show “proper cause” for self-defense before they can receive permits to carry concealed guns in public. Two gun owners sued to challenge that requirement after they were denied the permits. The Episcopal Church’s presiding officers have opposed the gun owners’ lawsuit, joining an interfaith group of more than 400 religious leaders in filing a “friend of the court” brief on Sept. 21 . Their brief warned that throwing out the New York law could undermine gun regulations in that state and in other jurisdictions, making it more likely that guns will be brought into churches and other “sensitive places” where guns usually are prohibited. “Reducing threats to Americans gathered for religious observance – as well as those participating in religious ministry within the community – is an important state interest that justifies reasonable firearm regulation,” the religious leaders say in the court brief. “However, regulating firearms within houses of worship alone is not enough. New York’s law further helps address these […]

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