Gun legislation before Missouri lawmakers draws criticism from faith leaders

Gun legislation before Missouri lawmakers draws criticism from faith leaders

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis area religious leaders are uniting Wednesday to speak out against controversial legislation focusing on bringing guns into places of worship. St. Louis Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski is among those opposing the bill. He is expected to be joined by at least seven other faith leaders at a news conference Thursday morning where concerns about the bill will be laid out. House Bill 944 overwhelmingly passed the Missouri House of Representatives last week by a vote of 109 to 36. It’s now in the Senate for consideration. The bill would allow Missourians with concealed carry permits to bring guns into churches, synagogues and mosques without the permission of the congregation’s leader. Currently, people need approval from religious leaders to bring firearms into places of worship in Missouri. The legislation would also allow those with a concealed carry permit to have guns on public transportation including buses. The legislation however does not apply to Amtrak or any of its partnerships. Those opposed, like Archbishop Rozanski, say the bill would change the current legal recognition of churches and houses of worship as gun-free zones. Rozanski and others opposed to the bill believe it would broaden the scope of the second amendment at the expense of the first amendment, infringing upon the religious freedom of faith leaders to decide whether to allow weapons in their places of worship. Missouri doesn’t require a concealed carry permit for gun ownership, but having a permit allows gun owners to bring weapons into […]

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