In the wake of the massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where nine people, including the pastor were shot dead by the lone gunman Dylann Roof, an NRA board member recently said the pastor is to blame for their deaths because he didn’t want his church members to bring guns to church.
Charles Cotton, a longtime NRA board member, wrote in a gun activist website TexasCHLForum.com that the murdered church members “might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church.”
Several Gun activists believe that allowing guns in church could have stopped Wednesday’s killings at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, and they wasted no time blaming murdered pastor and state Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D).
As a state senator, Pinckney had opposed a 2011 bill that would have legalized concealed carry in churches. The bill ultimately failed in the legislature.
Bryan Fischer, a conservative talk-radio host also called for concealed carry in churches in tweets Thursday, but he stopped short of blaming Pinckney.
Misguided bans on guns in houses of worship turned this black church in SC into a shooting gallery. Nobody could shoot back.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 18, 2015
South Carolina is a “shall issue” state, meaning that state law enforcement officials must issue concealed-carry permits to residents who pass a background check and fingerprint review, as well as successfully complete a handgun education course. It does not allow concealed carry in churches or other houses of worship. However, people may bring concealed-carry weapons to churches if they receive “express permission” from church leaders.