Marylanders Are Using Common Sense To Save Lives

Recent news reports have been largely focused on the debate over gun control – and feeding the left’s campaign of misinformation and scare tactics – since the mass shooting at a Florida high school in February.

What the left refuses to understand is that 98 percent of mass shootings occur in gun free zones like schools and churches, and that almost every active shooter situation ends with the action of a law-abiding gun owner on scene.

Now one locality is doing something about it.

Recognizing that guns are not the cause of mass shootings – and, in fact, are needed for citizens to defend themselves in active shooter situations – Maryland delegates are introducing the real common-sense gun legislation.

Many of the tragic mass shootings in the past several years have taken place in community churches, where suspects are well aware that no one will be armed.  Despite the left’s call for increased gun control, one Maryland community knows that lives will be saved if church parishioners are armed.

Fox 5 News reported:

The conversation about church security came after a November shooting that left 26 dead at a church in Sutherland, Texas, and the June 2015 shooting that took nine lives in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

“It can certainly happen here,” Gahler said. “In 2006, we saw an armed robbery of a church congregation, and we know that some of the horrific things that can happen to a community can happen here.”

In that case, Mt. Zion Church in Bel Air saw “the entire congregation robbed at gunpoint” during a service, he said.

In October, three people were killed in a shooting at Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood. In February 2016, two Harford County deputies were killed while investigating a report of a wanted person in Abingdon.

The Parishioner Protection Act, which will be introduced in the current legislative session in Annapolis, Maryland would allow members of church congregations to carry concealed handguns on church property.  They must only receive permission from the church and be able to legally possess a firearm in the state.

Delegate Kathy Szeliga is one of the bill sponsors in the Maryland House.  She and colleagues cosponsoring the bill understand the danger of large group meetings in gun free zones – and they want people to be able to defend themselves from an active shooter situation.

Activist Mommy reported:

“I ask you to think about a Sunday service…” Szeliga said. “People come in with their back to the door and are not aware of what’s going on behind them. It leaves them vulnerable.”

“I don’t want to wait until we have that happen in Maryland,” says Del. Kathy Szeliga (R), one of the sponsors. “What are we going to say when we have a church in Harford County that experiences what happened in Texas and we didn’t take our opportunity to allow our congregations to be safe?”

“The police cannot be everywhere, and this proposed legislation grew out of the faith-based community reaching out to us,” says Hartford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, who supported the bill.

 “This is again enabling legislation that would let the churches put their rules, regulations, policies and procedures training requirements, whatever they deem as a business owner can,” explains Gahler.

The bill would not require churches to allow parishioners to carry on their property, but they would now be given the opportunity to minimize being a target.  Many church leaders and parishioners are supportive of the idea, and are looking forward to being able to protect themselves and their families should tragedy strike.

Local churches in the area are also coming together, with the help of the local sheriff’s department, for active shooter training.  More than 500 members of Maryland churches, as well as small business owners in the area, have already signed up to participate in the training.

Fox News continued:

Because in Harford County there are about 20 deputies on patrol at any given time and more than 300 churches, Gahler said it was not feasible to have deputies handling security at churches.

“Giving churches the ability to permit congregation members to wear and carry a firearm will save lives and allow citizens to protect themselves in our houses of worship,” Gahler said in a prepared statement.

Current law prohibits transporting a gun without a handgun permit, and concealed carry permits were restrictive in the state of Maryland, according to the sheriff.

The idea for the Parishioner Protection Act “grew out of the faith-based community reaching out to us,” Gahler said.

This type of legislation is exactly what is needed to prevent gun violence in our schools and places of worship.  Citizens must be allowed to arm and protect themselves – and vulnerable members of the community who are not able to defend themselves, like children and the elderly.

As long as there are gun free zones in schools and churches, mass shooters will continue to prey on these areas, knowing they can carry out devastating carnage with little resistance.

To the left, “common sense” gun control legislation means disarming citizens and banning guns.  These Maryland legislators are among the first in the nation to have the true common sense to understand that a bad guy with a gun is typically stopped by a good guy with a gun.

What do you think of the Parishioner Protection Act?  Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

 

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