Channel 4 reports
WARNING: At Christian Academy.
on the Arkansas Christian Academy
in Bryant, which has announced that anywhere from 1 to 7 of its staff members are armed every day at the school, affiliated with the Family Church
. They hold concealed weapon permits.
"I just felt like with what's going on in many of the public sectors where there seems to be a lot of shootings we need to take the same stance that we do in church on Sunday for our kids Monday through Friday," says Pastor Perry Black.
Pastor Black has armed security during Sunday service, but now his school will be seeing the same thing five days a week. He posted some signs in front of the Arkansas Christian Academy in Bryant that read, “Staff is armed and trained. Any attempt to harm children will be met with deadly force.”
The school's web page lists eight faculty members and a principal.
I've tried to get a message to Pastor Black to ask a couple of questions, particularly related to clarifying the authority for guns on campus. This is what the NRA
says the law is in Arkansas relative to carrying guns:
It is also unlawful to possess a firearm upon the property of public or private schools, public or private college or upon a school bus.
It is a defense that at the time of the act:
The person is in his own dwelling or place of business or on property in which he has a possessor or proprietary interest.
The person is a law enforcement officer, prison guard, or member of the armed forces, acting in the course and scope of official duties.
The person is, by request, assisting a law enforcement officer, prison guard, or member of the armed forces acting in the course and scope of his official duties.
The person is a licensed security guard acting in the course and scope of his duties.
The person is taking part in a school approved educational or sporting activity.
UPDATE: The school has responded by e-mail that the law on guns in school doesn't apply to churches. I do recall that the 2013 legislature, in opening churches to guns had to adopt additional legislation to make it clear that guns would be allowed in houses of worship that also operated schools. I had thought that was merely to protect gun carrying in the churches. But no.
The school is right. The legislation explicitly authorizes concealed weapons in church schools.
The thrust of legislative debate at the time was to not have the presence of a school bar congregational gun packing. Sponsor Bryan King said he was just trying to clarify t
he church language. Perhaps sponsor King now would like to clarify this. Another unexpected gun in the woodpile, like the little old gun possession clarification that some are now using to allow unfettered open and concealed carry, without necessity of a permit.
Further gun thought: If the gun nuts are right, that the technical correction bill actually enabled "constitutional carry" -- meaning no restrictions on gun carrying and no permits required as long as you are carrying a gun for a lawful purpose, didn't it override ALL laws, including prohibitions in public buildings, public schools, the Capitol and anywhere else? Scary thought.
Somewhat related: If you haven't yet read about Antoinette Tuff please do.
She's the school employee whose calm words stopped a man with a semi-automatic rifle and lots of ammunition before he did harm in a Georgia elementary school. A good woman without a gun stopped a bad man with a gun.