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Cuccinelli OKs guns in churches
Question of the Day
Virginia cannot ban people from carrying guns for self-protection into churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship, Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II said in an advisory opinion released Monday.
State statutes generally prohibits carrying a firearm into “a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place.” The statute provides an exception to the general prohibition when an individual has a “good and sufficient reason” for carrying the firearm.
Delegate Mark Cole requested the opinion, saying the exception made the law ambiguous.
The attorney general said carrying a weapon for self-defense legally constitutes a good and sufficient reason under the statute — assuming that the citizen is lawfully able to carry a weapon, and if carrying concealed, has the appropriate permit to do so.
Mr. Cuccinelli noted in the opinion that the Second Amendment acts as a restraint on government, not on private parties. He said that religious entities — like any other private property owner — can restrict or ban the carrying of weapons onto their premises.
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About the Author
Matthew Cella is The Washington Times’ Metro editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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