Some Alabama lawmakers want churchgoers to be able to defend themselves in church -- so they are proposing a bill that would allow them to be armed while sitting on the pews.
State Rep. Lynn Greer filed a bill this month in the State Legislature called the "Alabama Church Protection Act," which would allow parishioners to carry guns in church.
According to the proposed legislation, “a person is not criminally liable for using physical force, including deadly force, in self-defense or in the defense of another person on the premises of a church under certain conditions.”
The bill was previously introduced in the State House of Representatives last year and would add churches to the 2006 Stand Your Ground law, which allows someone to use force if they feel their life is threatened, according to Al.com.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Birmingham attorney Eric Johnston, who is the president of the Southeast Law Institute, told Al.com. “Small churches don’t have the budgets to have a policeman,” said Johnston.
In a public hearing last year, members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America opposed the bill.
The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill last year, but it never made it out of the Legislature, according to Al.com.
There have been more than a dozen fatal shootings at places of worship around the country since 2012, including November 2017 when Devin Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.