Should concealed weapons be allowed inside churches?

Florida lawmakers are considering change to law

By Ashley Harding - Reporter
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Florida lawmakers are looking to change restrictions on how concealed weapons holders carry firearms inside churches. Under current Florida law, firearms are allowed in church if the chapel is not on a school campus.

If a legal concealed weapons permit holder carried a firearm to a school or a house of worship on the same grounds as a school, they would face a felony. 

Senate Bill 274, sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland,  states that a licensed gun owner cannot be prohibited from carrying a concealed weapon or concealed firearm on private school property if a religious institution is located on the property.

Jacksonville is home to numerous religious schools, including Providence School, Bishop Kenny High School and San Jose Episcopal Day School.

The agenda for the Senate Judiciary committee confirms the measure will be discussed Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m.

The Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America has stated its members will be in Tallahassee to testify against the bill. 

"This bill would allow people to carry guns in Florida private schools that have any religious institution on the school property, making it easy for guns to be carried around our children," Moms Demand Action volunteer Kate Kile said. "This bill is overbroad and unnecessary, and presents a clear danger to Florida’s children."

News4Jax has reached out to counsel for Florida Carry, and is still waiting for a response on its position. 

Gun rights advocates say similar bills have failed in the past. If this measure passes, it would become law in July 2018.

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