State rep introduces bill to carry concealed weapons in church

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The person sitting in the next pew at your church could be carrying a concealed weapon if a local lawmaker has his way.

State Representative Ron Maag, (R) Lebanon, has introduced a bill that would allow concealed weapons in churches, in daycares, on private planes and in government buildings.

Concealed weapons would still be banned in airports, schools and police stations.

Reverend Rick Groover, who pastors Celebration Church in Mason, says he supports concealed carry.

Groover, who is licensed to carry a firearm, says guns provide security in the hands of responsible people.

"I would rather be somewhere with responsible people who are carrying than be in a place that somebody who is going to do wrong knows that they could come into and there not be anybody with a weapon," said Groover.

Groover also says those who carry a concealed weapon need to have proper training.

"You don't just go to a shooting range and see if you can shoot and be accurate," said Groover. "A lot of the day is spent dealing with legalities and what you can do. It's not the right to do anything you want to do; it's the right to do right."

In our commitment to balanced news FOX19 reached out to the Reverend Pete Mingo of Christ Temple Baptist Church in Walnut Hills who says he is opposed to having guns in his church.

"I don't feel that a house of worship should be a place where, you know, someone sitting across from you with a weapon. I don't think our situation has gotten that drastic," said Reverend Mingo.

Mingo says churches don't need to be entirely defenseless.

"Most churches I know where they have some form of security for the taking up of offerings or whatever, but as far as needing guns in a place of worship I don't think so, even in daycare," said Mingo.

Mingo has worked with the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence known as CIRV and he has seen firsthand how gun violence affects the community.

FOX19 reached out to Representative Maag, but he did not respond to our request for an interview.

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