Church Volunteer Security Groups

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Church Volunteer Security Groups

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:28 pm

Here is a copy of an article published on the Texas Firearms Coalition webstie.

Chas.
Church Volunteer Security Groups wrote:Due to concerns about violence against church members attending worship services, many churches have formed volunteer security teams or groups. These groups are typically made up of church members, many of whom hold a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Unfortunately, a provision in Texas law prohibits these volunteers from carrying self-defense handguns if they are in any way involved in providing security or safety for their fellow church members. These provisions are found in Chapter 1702 of the Texas Occupations Code.

The tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut last December has thrust the issue of school safety to the forefront of public debate. Numerous proposals have been put forth to address this issue and many of the more practical solutions involve the use of volunteers. While some of these volunteers would undoubtedly be active Texas peace officers, many would be retired officers, former military personnel, and citizens who are CHL’s. Chapter 1702 would prohibit all of these volunteers, other than active peace officers, from carrying self-defense handguns while protecting our school children.

Two bills have been filed that will address this problem and it is in the best interest of all Texans that one of these bills pass and become law. HB2535 and SB1324 are not companion bills, but each addresses this subject in a reasonable manner, although both should be amended to remove an unnecessary and harmful amendment to Texas Penal Code §46.03(b)(6).

Under either bill, CHL’s would not be prohibited from carrying self-defense handguns when serving as volunteers on security teams or groups for schools or churches. SB1324 goes into greater detail to make sure that such volunteers do not wear any uniforms, badges, or other insignia that could lead people to believe they were Texas peace officers.

The only opposition to either these bills will likely come from the security industry for purely economic reasons. Although it is highly unlikely that this change in the law would make any difference in the overall revenue in the security industry, money should not even enter this debate since we are talking about the safety and wellbeing of schoolchildren and churchgoers.

You can help pass these bills by contacting your Texas Senator and Representative and express your strong support for HB2535 and SB1324. Be sure to ask them to support these bills, and to offer or support an amendment that would remove the change to Texas Penal Code §46.03(b)(6), if these provisions are not removed in a committee substitute. We should all contact Senator Seliger and Representative Shaefer and express our sincere appreciation for filing and working for passage of these much-needed bills.

Both HB2535 and SB1324 will make Texas safer.
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#2

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:12 pm

I just spotted this post. These bills need to be passed!
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#3

Post by RottenApple » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:26 pm

03Lightningrocks wrote:I just spotted this post. These bills need to be passed!
:iagree:

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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#4

Post by jmra » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:59 pm

:iagree:
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#5

Post by RPBrown » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:10 am

Agree that these should be passed.
My pastor and I have had a recent conversation about me leading a "security ministry". He knows I carry and he does also.
I let him know that it would be illegal to carry as part of a security team without proper credentials.
However, I carry 24/7, and always sit in the same place where I have a line of site to all parts of the auditorium.
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#6

Post by donkey » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:45 am

What is the purpose of these security teams? Nothing other than proper 30.06 notification prevents a CHL holder from carrying in a church. Concealed means concealed. Carry your pistol to church and pray that you never have to use it. You don't need to form a security team for that. Or are these security teams performing functions similar to private security companies (i.e. access control, physical security of facilities, responding to complaints)? If they are, then they should have to meet the same requirements as any other security company. Is anyone here a member of some type of church security team? Can you shed some light on the duties you perform.

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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#7

Post by suthdj » Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:49 am

Can't they just carry long rifles Until something passes to allow them to carry?
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#8

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:02 am

donkey wrote:What is the purpose of these security teams? Nothing other than proper 30.06 notification prevents a CHL holder from carrying in a church. Concealed means concealed. Carry your pistol to church and pray that you never have to use it. You don't need to form a security team for that. Or are these security teams performing functions similar to private security companies (i.e. access control, physical security of facilities, responding to complaints)? If they are, then they should have to meet the same requirements as any other security company. Is anyone here a member of some type of church security team? Can you shed some light on the duties you perform.
I disagree that volunteers should have to comply with Chapter 1702 of the Occupations Code. Many if not most churches cannot afford to hire security companies and a volunteer one or two days a week is not in the same position as a 40 hour a week security guard. More importantly, most safety or security groups at churches I am aware of do not function like a security guard in that they will call 911 if there is a problem, unless there is insufficient time. They spend more time helping people find locations on the church campus, helping people with limited mobility, and herding kids back into their classes. Under current law, if they serve in this capacity and are a CHL, they cannot carry their handgun.

HB2535 and SB1324 won't change current law for CHL's carrying in church, so people will still continue to do that. They will make it possible for volunteers to do additional things like watch the children's/infants' wing and other sensitive areas without fear of violating Chp. 1702.

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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#9

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:04 am

suthdj wrote:Can't they just carry long rifles Until something passes to allow them to carry?
No, you cannot be armed if you are serving in a security capacity, unless you have the appropriate certification under Chp. 1702 of the Occupations Code.

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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#10

Post by donkey » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:09 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
donkey wrote: HB2535 and SB1324 won't change current law for CHL's carrying in church, so people will still continue to do that. They will make it possible for volunteers to do additional things like watch the children's/infants' wing and other sensitive areas without fear of violating Chp. 1702.

Chas.
Are we talking about all volunteers or those who volunteer as security? What you describe sounds a lot like a greeter/hospitality. You don't need to be "security" to give directions, help those with limited mobility, and anyone can call 911 if needed. I fail to see why those situations call for security teams.


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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#11

Post by cw3van » Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:45 am

Charles L. Cotton wrote:Here is a copy of an article published on the Texas Firearms Coalition webstie.

Chas.
Church Volunteer Security Groups wrote:Due to concerns about violence against church members attending worship services, many churches have formed volunteer security teams or groups. These groups are typically made up of church members, many of whom hold a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL). Unfortunately, a provision in Texas law prohibits these volunteers from carrying self-defense handguns if they are in any way involved in providing security or safety for their fellow church members. These provisions are found in Chapter 1702 of the Texas Occupations Code.

The tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut last December has thrust the issue of school safety to the forefront of public debate. Numerous proposals have been put forth to address this issue and many of the more practical solutions involve the use of volunteers. While some of these volunteers would undoubtedly be active Texas peace officers, many would be retired officers, former military personnel, and citizens who are CHL’s. Chapter 1702 would prohibit all of these volunteers, other than active peace officers, from carrying self-defense handguns while protecting our school children.

Two bills have been filed that will address this problem and it is in the best interest of all Texans that one of these bills pass and become law. HB2535 and SB1324 are not companion bills, but each addresses this subject in a reasonable manner, although both should be amended to remove an unnecessary and harmful amendment to Texas Penal Code §46.03(b)(6).

Under either bill, CHL’s would not be prohibited from carrying self-defense handguns when serving as volunteers on security teams or groups for schools or churches. SB1324 goes into greater detail to make sure that such volunteers do not wear any uniforms, badges, or other insignia that could lead people to believe they were Texas peace officers.

The only opposition to either these bills will likely come from the security industry for purely economic reasons. Although it is highly unlikely that this change in the law would make any difference in the overall revenue in the security industry, money should not even enter this debate since we are talking about the safety and wellbeing of schoolchildren and churchgoers.

You can help pass these bills by contacting your Texas Senator and Representative and express your strong support for HB2535 and SB1324. Be sure to ask them to support these bills, and to offer or support an amendment that would remove the change to Texas Penal Code §46.03(b)(6), if these provisions are not removed in a committee substitute. We should all contact Senator Seliger and Representative Shaefer and express our sincere appreciation for filing and working for passage of these much-needed bills.

Both HB2535 and SB1324 will make Texas safer.
Mr Cotton is correct that you must be licensed as a security officer if you provide security in your church level 2 is non commissioned which means you can't be armed nor can you carry a CHL while acting as a non commissioned security officer. In order to be a level 3 armed commissioned security officer you must attend a 40 hour academy then apply too the state in order to be able to carry a firearm but you can only do this while wearing a security officer uniform & work for a security company. I teach every week at a security academy as a senior instructor after my LEO career & the rules say they even if you have a chl it does not give you the right to carry as a security officer the 2 require a different license. They have church groups locked out the way the law is now. I agree with Mr. Cotton these are bills that need to pass so that CHL holders can volunteer for their church. Please contact your reps because it will be opposed by the security companies & managers who see this as a loss of business. Much more I would like to say concerning this but will save for later. Thanks for bringing this to our attention Mr. Cotton.
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#12

Post by cw3van » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:03 pm

I said later but feel I need to add a couple things that maybe many of my fellow CHL holders don't know about Texas Occ Code 1702 the reason we need the change is it is a serious matter if caught operating as a security company without a license 1st time is a class A 2nd time is a felony. It may seem silly but the way the law stands now if you are out directing traffice in your church parking lot or directing movement of people you should at least be a non commissioned security officer. Impersonating a security officer is a class A mis. so folks lets work hard to get this changed I said security companies will come after this very hard because they know churches under the current law have to depend on them to provide security. Sorry if I rambled but this is so important I hope y'all with much more on the ball than me make a difference for our churches &help with these bills. :txflag:
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#13

Post by suthdj » Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:41 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
suthdj wrote:Can't they just carry long rifles Until something passes to allow them to carry?
No, you cannot be armed if you are serving in a security capacity, unless you have the appropriate certification under Chp. 1702 of the Occupations Code.

Chas.
Ahh I thought it was just the CHL thing.
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#14

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:49 pm

Does simply getting together with specific individuals and working out a strategy in cases that might require action qualify as "security". I realize it is not real honest but it seems to me the churches would be wise to do things to increase the security and assign responsibility to individuals while at the same time, never call it security or make it "official". Sometimes dumb laws require us to walk on the edge of what would be considered legal. Why not just call them "volunteers"? They aren't getting paid.

I don't know. I am just thinking of some ways to work around the silliness. It would be best to get the bills passed but just in case?
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Re: Church Volunteer Security Groups

#15

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:37 pm

donkey wrote:
Charles L. Cotton wrote:
donkey wrote: HB2535 and SB1324 won't change current law for CHL's carrying in church, so people will still continue to do that. They will make it possible for volunteers to do additional things like watch the children's/infants' wing and other sensitive areas without fear of violating Chp. 1702.

Chas.
Are we talking about all volunteers or those who volunteer as security? What you describe sounds a lot like a greeter/hospitality. You don't need to be "security" to give directions, help those with limited mobility, and anyone can call 911 if needed. I fail to see why those situations call for security teams.
No, I'm not talking about greeters because these people, like those watching the children's/infant's wing, will address a threat to anyone attending the church, if the need arises and there is insufficient time to call 911. That being the case, they currently would violate Chp. 1702 if they are a CHL carrying a handgun. I was describing what a typical day is like for such people; I was not limiting their involvement.

Chas.
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