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Stand Your Ground in Churches

Alabama is considering expanding the "stand your ground" law to apply to churches as well. Reporter Casey Albritton talked to around 20 churches today to hear their opinions on gun use in churches. Some said they didn't think guns were in keeping with the message of peace their church tries to teach. Others said they want to be able to defend themselves and their families in the case of a shooter, even if it means being armed it church.

Posted: Mar. 15, 2019 6:47 PM
Updated: Mar. 15, 2019 6:47 PM

Speech to Text for Stand Your Ground in Churches

Below is the closed-captioning text associated with this video. Since this uses automated speech to text spelling and grammar may not be accurate.

the city of christ church, new zealand is reeling after the deadliest attack in the country's history! 49 people were shot and killed in mosques thursday. the prime minister said the suspect bought the weapons legally... the terror attack comes at a time when alabama is considering expanding the "stand your ground" law, to apply to churches. thanks for joining us -- i'm najahe sherman... and i'm dan shaffer... waay 31's casey albritton is live near downtown to explain what that means, and how local congregations are responding. casey? dan and najahe, it means you could use deadly force inside a church, against someone who's threatening your life. i reached out to at least 20 churches today. the pastor here at grateful life community church says she doesn't think guns will protect church-goers. but some church-goers tell me they have a right to defend themselves in any situation. sherry birney / pastor "we are trying to work toward unity and justice and peace and love and guns don't have a place in the church for that." josh hatfield / church goer "i believe that if someone comes into a church shooting, that we should be able to defend ourselves." pastors and church-goers in huntsville have strong opinions about the alabama church protection act. church-goer, josh hatfield , says the new zealand mosque attack shows why you should always be prepared. josh hatfield / church goer "we have kids being killed, we have just random people in move theaters...and it is a shame but if someone comes in there and starts shooting at me or someone in the church, i would like to defend questions asked.' sherry birney pastors the grateful life community church, which serves huntsville's homeless. she says guns don't belong in a house of worship. sherry birney / pastor "we do not promote weapons, in our church...because we are church and our denomination focuses on the movement for wholeness in a fragmented world." i talked to several pastors today who told me they not only support the bill, but actively train their congregations for a worst-case scenario. none wanted to go on camera. but the opinions of pastor birney and hatfield show, the issue of safety is one that varies greatly among the faithful. sherry birney/ pastor "if it's a violent enough issue, we know how to call the police." josh hatfield / church goer "you see people dying you want to be the next person to die? or your family member? what if someone comes in and shoots your kid...and you're standing next to them and you could help them, defend them...wouldn't you rather? i think i would." right now, it's up to the individual church to allow guns. the "alabama church protection act" would expand the "stand your ground" laws to include churches, meaning you don't have to retreat if you're being attacked. a rogersville republican filed the bill this month. reporting live in huntsville, casey abritton, waay 31 news.
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