Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed a gun rights bill into law yesterday, allowing churches to create security programs designating members to carry firearms to defend worshipers against violence, the Reuters website reports today (April 16, 2016).
The legislation -- called the "Mississippi Church Protection Act" -- also makes it easier for residents in other settings to carry concealed weapons, drawing criticism from gun control advocates.
"Churches deserve protection from those who would harm worshipers," Bryant said.
Gun control proponents called the law dangerous. "Mississippi law enforcement, families and faith leaders all spoke against this reckless bill that will allow dangerous people to carry hidden, loaded handguns in public without a permit," said Shirley Hopkins Davis, a member of the Mississippi chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, in a statement.