Montgomery pastor all in favor of AL church security legislation

Updated: Feb. 16, 2018 at 4:53 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama House of Representatives has approved a revision to the state's "Stand Your Ground" law. The revision specifies that deadly force can be used to defend someone in a church without being held criminally responsible.

The new bill would extend the state's "Stand Your Ground" law and provide immunity to those acting in defense of church members.

E. Baxter Morris, pastor at First Baptist Church on North Ripley Street, being a gun owner himself, says he's all for the new bill.

"It would be nice to extend a legal courtesy to those members of the church who are armed and prepared to defend the congregation," Morris said, "but we've always assumed responsibility that we are responsible for those who come to worship here."

In fact, the church already has a plan in place in case of an emergency. Although he wouldn't reveal details, Morris said it's been in place for a while.

"This church was a part of the Bus Boycott, so bomb threats and other threats have always been a part of our daily operations. We've had police officers that are members of this church and they've helped to develop a plan to protect the membership," the pastor explained.

Morris said his main focus is to protect his congregation and calls the new bill "a great idea."

The bill has already passed through the House. It now heads to the Senate.

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