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Diocese sets policy re: Texas ‘open carry’ law

      December 2015

The diocesan Risk Management Committee has conducted a review of the new law regarding handgun carriage (HB00910F) which will take effect in Texas on January 1, 2016. The committee has recommended a policy for all churches and diocesan property which Bishop Iker and our chancellor, David Weaver, have approved.

Beginning January 1, 2016, it will be legal in Texas for licensed individuals to carry concealed or unconcealed handguns. Businesses, churches, and other entities have several options, including banning all handguns (including concealed weapons), or simply allowing open or concealed carriage. The diocesan policy will follow a middle path, banning ‘open carry’ handguns on our properties.

This decision will mean that no one is permitted to bring an unconcealed handgun into the church, offices, classrooms, etc., at any time, including Sunday worship or weekday activities. signUshers and staff will need to be made aware of the signs and the diocesan policy.

To comply with the law, all churches will need to buy and post signs invoking section 30.07 of the law. A sample of the recommended sign is shown at right. The committee recommends this type of sign (with the words “Open Carry” crossed out) rather than one showing a handgun.

Finally, the Risk Management Committee reminds everyone that it is illegal to view concealed handgun license (CHL) holders as a ‘volunteer security team’ for the parish. Anyone carrying a handgun for the purpose of protecting a body of people is considered a security guard, and anyone so doing must have the appropriate license.