SB 88: Church Security

 

Bill Status

Awaiting a hearing in the Senate.


Bill History

  • 1/3/19    Authored by Sen. Sandlin & Sen. M. Young and referred to Judiciary Committee


 

 

Executive Summary

SB 88 permits a person who may legally possess a firearm to possess a firearm on school property that also contains a house of worship, unless prohibited by the house of worship, if the person possesses the firearm while: (1) attending a worship service; (2) conducting business with the house of worship; (3) receiving pastoral services; (4) attending a program sponsored or permitted by the house of wor-ship or the school; or (5) carrying out the person's official duties at a house of worship, if the person is employed by or a volunteer at the house of worship and the house of worship has assigned the per-son duties that require the person to carry a firearm. Exempts certain law enforcement and retired law enforcement officers described in the federal Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) from the prohibition against carrying a firearm on school property.

 

Analysis

SB 88 seeks to close a loophole in current Indiana law by allowing all churches to manage their own se-curity as they see fit even when there is a school on church property. SB 88 also seeks to protect church congregants from unknowingly committing a crime by bringing a weapon on church property.

With attacks against churches on the rise, SB 88 is a commonsense measure that attempts to help churches protect their congregations from attacks such as the Sutherland Springs church shooting.  

 

Conclusion

SB 88 seeks to close a loophole in current Indiana law.  If you are a church and you don't have a school you can conduct security at your church however you want, including having a security plan that would have trained volunteers carry a weapon or have a weapon available on site in the event the church is attacked.  

However, if you have a school on the church property congregants could unknowingly be committing a crime by bringing a weapon on church property, even if they are a part of the church security team assigned by the church and even if it is just on Sundays when the school is closed.  This bill would allow all churches to manage their own security as they see fit.  

IFI supports SB 88.