Senate to consider bring your gun to church and a flasher protection bill –


Moms Demand Action is the new kid in town for the gun debate at the state capitol. James Call

Lawmakers aim to resolve a state/church conflict about gun rights

Bills before the Florida Legislature would allow guns in all churches and certain schools and protect concealed weapons permit holders when they accidentally flash their weapons.(Photo: Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar)

The Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday will consider fixes for two quirks in Florida gun laws.

Firearms are allowed in church if the chapel is not on a school campus. A legal concealed weapons permit holder faces a felony if they carry to school or a house of worship on the same grounds as a school.

And away from a school, when a concealed weapons holder accidentally displays a weapon they commit a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail.

Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota is the Legislature’s foremost Second Amendment advocate. He chairs the Judiciary Committee and has bills to address both issues to be considered in 2018.

Senate Bill 274 sponsored by Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, resolves the church/school conflict and opens all churches to guns. It comes before the committee nine days after a gunman killed 26 churchgoers in Texas.  Critics say the measure’s language strays from its intended target and also permits guns in the classroom if the school shares a building or campus with a house of worship.

Stargel does not read her bill to allow guns in the classroom.

“The schools are able to set their policy,” said Stargel. She explained the bill is about state law, not a church or school policy.

“The church can restrict guns. It just won’t be a crime,” said Stargel.

The committee also will hear

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