Mississippi Senate OKs bill allowing armed guards in church

Asked to choose between a Christian spirit of peace and a God-given right of self-defense, Mississippi senators are overwhelmingly favoring the latter.

The Senate voted 36-14 Tuesday to pass the bill, known as the Mississippi Church Protection Act. The bill returns to the House.

It says places of worship could designate members to undergo firearms training and carry guns to protect the congregation.

The bill also allows people to carry guns in holsters without a concealed weapons permit, expanding on last year's law allowing people to carry guns in purses without a permit.

Finally, the measure asserts no state official can enforce any federal executive order or administrative rule that violates the U.S. or Mississippi constitutions. It's a challenge to the principle that federal law overrides state law.