The Internet is abuzz today over word that Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal has signed a law that allows people with concealed-weapons permits to bring weapons into churches and other houses of worship.
The bill does not allow people to simply walk into a church packing heat, however. According to the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, individuals must pass a background check and undergo eight hours of training per year if they want to bring weapons to houses of worship; the idea seems to be that they would serve something like a de facto security force.
In addition, the head of the religious institution - be it a church, synagogue, mosque or anything else - must announce to congregants that the weapons are being wielded for security purposes.
The bill, which will reportedly go into effect on August 15th, is the brainchild of Republican state Rep. Henry Burns, who argues that houses of worship in rough neighborhoods need the protection that a concealed-weapons security force could provide.
The legislation also extends the period to have a concealed weapons permit from four to five years and gives houses of worship the option to hire off duty police or other security forces. It was one of hundreds of measures signed into law by the Republican governor.