Supreme Court Declines to Hear Suit on Ga. Law Banning Guns in Church
The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case regarding a suit against a Georgia law that bans the carrying of firearms in public locations like churches and other houses of worship.
Their decision, made Tuesday, means that a lower court decision that maintains the 2010 law that bans guns from places of worship stands. Georgiacarry.org, a pro-gun organization, filed the suit against the law.
John Monroe, vice president of georgiacarry.org and member of its Board of Directors, told The Christian Post that his group was "disappointed" by the Supreme Court's decision.
"The Supreme Court did not issue a 'decision' in the traditional sense, because their refusal to take the case is not an opinion on the merits of the case," said Monroe. "States in the 11th Circuit are free to harass churches with all manner of legislation specifically directed at churches as long as it does not interfere with a sincerely held religious belief."
In 2010, the Georgia Legislature passed a law that forbade the carrying of firearms into places of worship in the state.
Monroe also told CP that he felt the 2010 legislation was anti-religious, as it "was not neutral toward religion and it did not apply generally throughout the state."
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"We have members who did not want to have to choose between exercising their 1st Amendment and their 2nd Amendment rights, so we filed suit to challenge the newly-enacted ban," said Monroe.
Local media found diverse opinions among people in the Peach State over the ban on concealed carry in houses of worship.
Anthony Corbett, pastor of the Lundy Chapel Baptist Church in Macon, told NBC station WMGT 41that he opposed firearms in churches.
"I don't see a need for them in the sanctuary, a place of calm, a place of comfort," said Corbett, who added that his church is considering the addition of metal detectors and cameras to their facility.
Kyle Turner, president of Marion Road Gun Club, told WMGT 41 that such laws make congregations vulnerable to shooters.
"Making churches gun-free zones is just like making schools gun free zones and it sends a clear signal, you may as well put a signing up that says criminals do your worst you will not be stopped," said Turner.
While the Supreme Court's decision ends present legal challenges to Georgia's ban on guns in places of worship, at least one member of the Georgia House of Representatives is looking toward repealing it via legislation.
Republican Charles Gregory, representative of the 34th District, pre-filed a few bills that would advance concealed carry and also private property rights to places of worship.