Lawmakers eye allowing guns in houses of worship - CBS46 News

Lawmakers eye allowing guns in houses of worship

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Lawmakers are looking at two controversial bills that would allow people to bring guns inside houses of worship.

Supporters believe the measures would increase security, critics say it is a dangerous idea.

Danielle Wilson, a member of First African Presbyterian in Lithonia, said church is a place of serenity, a refuge from the harsh reality of the outside world.

Wilson said the church is no place for a gun.

"Church has always been a place of peace, a place of love, a place to express your faith," Wilson said. "Guns in that space, a space of worship, a sacred space, are a very bad idea."

Brad Schweers, a member of Druid Hills United Methodist, said guns and church do not mix.

"The church is about following Jesus who is the prince of peace. The church is a place that is talking about peace and nonviolence," Schweers said.

State lawmakers are looking at two bills that would allow people to carry guns onto state college campuses and into houses of worship.

State Sen. Frank Ginn is reviving the measure that stalled last year.

Ginn said his bill would give people in houses of worship a chance to defend themselves before police have a chance to react if a shooter were to open fire.

"It's a defense mechanism. In the wrong hands it can be used as a tool of violence. In the right hands, it can be used to save people's lives," said Ginn, who added that houses of worship along with colleges and universities would have the right to ban firearms on their property.

Wilson believes that could turn a bad situation disastrous.

"It wouldn't necessarily create a space where people are safe, it may potentially make things worse," Wilson said.

It is unclear if the bills have a chance at becoming law.

Lawmakers may have little taste for dealing with such controversial measures during an election year.

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