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Stand Your Ground Areas Expand to Churches in Oklahoma - KOAM TV 7

Stand Your Ground Areas Expand to Churches in Oklahoma

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MIAMI, OKLAHOMA -

"I'm grateful they're taking these procedures. So I think it'll make churches more aware that aren't aware of what we can do to protect our congregations and I think it'll be very good for the state" says Pastor Raymond Frizzelle from Miami's First Assembly of God.

He says his church already has a trained security team. And even though Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill allowing people to use deadly force in places of worship, congregation members still have to be approved to carry concealed weapons during services.

Pastor Frizzelle says eight of his congregation members are registered with his church to carry during their services.

State Representative Ben Loring doesn't agree with the legislation.

"There's logical reasons for a person to be able to do that in their home or their business or their vehicle. But it just seemed unnecessary to me to add it, since you already have that right under current law"

He says before the bill was signed, Oklahomans had the right to stand their ground anywhere they could legally be, which under his understanding included churches. He says lawmakers likely added churches in reaction to recent church shootings.
The bill says someone can use deadly force against a person who unlawfully or forcefully enters a place of worship.

"The Texas shooting, the way I understand that that happened, the person didn't force them self into the church, they didn't enter the church unlawfully, but once they were in there they started using deadly force and so if somebody had a gun they could have started using deadly force. I don't see the need to have that requirement that they had to enter the church unlawfully or force their way into it"

The bill covers all places of worship in a building, whether it's a mosque, synagogue or church.

Pastor Frizzelle says it just serves as a reminder to stay aware of national events.

"It'll probably just be a reinforcement of what's really going on in our church and trying to be careful as we just see the things going on in our nation"

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