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Ark. House OKs bill allowing guns in churches

The House has narrowly approved a bill allowing concealed handguns in churches, despite hearing arguments that lawmakers should put their faith in God, not guns.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The House has narrowly approved a bill allowing concealed handguns in churches, despite hearing arguments that lawmakers should put their faith in God, not guns.

The bill by Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Cedarville, passed Wednesday on a 57-42 vote. It now heads to the Senate.

The measure removes churches and houses of worship from the list of places where concealed handguns are banned. Currently, the only private entities where the concealed weapons are banned are churches and bars.

The bill would give churches the option of allowing the weapons on their premises. If a church opts out, it can notify members in any way it chooses - through a sign, an announcement during services or a message in a church bulletin, for example. Those speaking against the bill included two legislators who are also pastors.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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