Sunday, July 19

Should the doors of the church be open and armed?

Article from: Daytona Times
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Church safety initiatives
Keeping the church secure has been a national initiative for decades and initiatives like the Texas-based National Organization for Church Security and Safety Management, Inc. (NOCSSM) trains churches through the country in the areas of security and safety.
President and founder Chuck Chadwick also is the licensed security manager and president of Gatekeepers Security Services. The company’s Gatekeepers Program has put hundreds of armed Gatekeepers in churches across Texas.
“Our mission in our Gatekeepers program is to train these men and women to go toward the sound of the gunfire and stop the violence, and the only way to really do it effectively is through firearms,” said Chadwick.
For a megachurch with a hefty budget, Chadwick’s initiatives are an apt resource. But, according to Brian J. Gallagher, a Maryland-based church safety expert, more than 80 percent of the nation’s churches have less than 100 members. Their budgets cannot afford high-tech training or often the necessary base-level security – an alarm system.
Gallagher adds that churches are what’s known as “soft targets,” meaning they are accessible unlike a university setting, which was Roof’s initial choice but the confessed killer said it proved difficult access.
“Too many churches don’t have alarm systems and many keep their doors unlocked,” stated Gallagher. “I can understand the doors of the church need to be open to the public, but if you have multiple entrances – not every door.’’
Pastors and pistols
Beyond technology, the safety conversation has advanced to the need for church pastors and clergy to also arm themselves with weapons as a form of protection.
“Everybody has a Second Amendment right to be armed with a weapon, but you can’t blanket every church’s security needs across the country,” Gallagher advised. “If you’re holding a gun, it’s for one or two reasons – to take a life or defend someone’s life from being taken. Every pastor is not going to have the necessary training, maturity or law enforcement skill-set to be armed for the varied scenario-based situations,” he added.
Gallagher served as a U.S. Secret Service specialist for 10 years and currently oversees an online resource initiative for churches at
“I can say that every megachurch should have armed-security of some sort,” offered Gallagher.
“Every church in an inner city or high crime area should also have an armed response or personnel, but I cannot endorse that security be the pastor. It’s different in each church, every location.”