Diocese maintains gun-free policy

In light of the recent legislation concerning guns being allowed in churches and religious institutions, the Diocese of Jackson will maintain its current policy banning firearms and other weapons inside places of worship, schools, offices and service centers, despite a new law that would allow them. Bishop Joseph Kopacz does not feel there is any need to have firearms, whether they are concealed or publicly displayed, inside church-owned property.
“We are here to worship and to serve,” said Bishop Kopacz. “I understand that some parishes have private security officers and off-duty law enforcement officers patrolling their property, and that’s fine, if those people are from licensed security agencies with proper training, background checks and gun permits, but I see no reason for a gun to be inside a sanctuary or school, especially an unpermitted one,” he added.
The Mississippi legislature recently passed a law that would allow churches and other religious institutions to allow select certain members to undergo training and carry firearms inside their buildings, even without concealed weapon permits, however it remains our policy not to have any firearms in our buildings except in those cases where the parish or institution has hired a licensed security company. There are to be no parishioners or parents patrolling their facilities with guns.