Hoosiers licensed to carry a firearm could bring their gun to church – even if it’s on school property – under a bill approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.
But a change to the bill means houses of worship still retain control over who carries a gun into their facility.
Current Indiana law bars people from carrying a gun onto school property unless they’re a law enforcement officer or authorized by the school board. That also applies to churches located on school grounds.
Southport Presbyterian church leader Ron Davault says that leaves his congregation helpless to defend itself.
“We want to have a security team. We’re very concerned about some of the church shootings that have happened during worship services,” Davault says.
Amy Jackson represents a Bloomington synagogue. She says allowing guns into houses of worship on school grounds would make it harder for her congregation to practice its faith.
“Our sanctuary is a space where peace is sown,” Jackson says. “That space is made less holy, less complete in the presence of symbols and tools of violence.”
However, a change made in committee would mean a person could carry their gun onto the property only if they have the house of worship’s permission.
The committee approved the bill 5-2, sending it to the full Senate.