Concealed weapon law impacts houses of worship
The Personal Protection Act, which allows individuals with a state-granted license to carry a concealed weapon, was signed into Wisconsin law this July and becomes effective November 1, 2011. This new legislation not only impacts the residents and employers of Wisconsin, but it has implications for houses of worship as well.
Property owners and businesses in Wisconsin have the right to restrict access to their buildings and grounds based on specified conditions—one of them being the carrying of a weapon. Church Mutual recommends that you and your congregation make a decision regarding whether carrying weapons will or will not be permitted in your buildings and on your premises.*
Members of congregation, visitors must be informed
If you choose to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons at your worship center, establish a written policy and review it with your congregation. Wisconsin law also requires that you post a sign regarding this restriction. The sign must:
- Be at least 5 inches by 7 inches in size.
- Be posted near all building entrances and access points to your grounds in a place where anyone entering can be reasonably expected to see it.
- Inform people that weapons and firearms are prohibited in your building and/or on the premises.
Regardless of your decision to or not to prohibit the carrying of firearms at your worship center, your insurance coverage with Church Mutual will not be affected. To aid in your decision, Church Mutual recommends consulting your denominational office, local attorney and local law enforcement.
For more information on the Personal Protection Act, visit the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s website at https://www.doj.state.wi.us/dles/cib/conceal-carry/concealed-carry.
*According to the Personal Protection Act, firearms in vehicles — even if parked in your facility’s parking lot — are not subject to prohibition of concealed carrying on your premises.
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