In Light of Recent Texas Shooting, One Virginia Lawmaker Wants to Allow Guns in Churches

Jan 9, 2020

Democrats have a long list of gun control measures that they are hoping to pass this year. But Republicans have their own ideas about laws the General Assembly should enact.

Guns are not allowed in churches during services, at least not now. But Republican Delegate John McGuire wants to change that. He has a bill that would overturn that prohibition.

Delegate John McGuire has proposed legislation that would lift Virginia's ban on guns in churches.
Credit Virginia House GOP

“So I think that whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, I think that it’s a bipartisan issue because we should be able to defend ourselves," McGuire says. "If you look at some strictest cities or towns with the strictest gun laws, they have the most gun deaths. And those victims have the right to defend themselves too.”

But is adding more guns the solution? Democratic Delegate Chris Hurst says no. 

“I continue to say that our focus should not be on having more of our citizens be armed but rather trying to make sure that we can enact policies that take firearms out of the possession of those who may be a danger to themselves or someone else,” he explains.

McGuire says the recent church shooting in Texas shows the need for more guns in churches. But, Hurst says it shows the need for gun control instead.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.