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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints toughens gun policy

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A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints meetinghouse in Caldwell. | Courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is prohibiting guns inside the faith’s meetinghouses and on church property.

In the past, firearms at church buildings were considered “inappropriate” but firmer wording had been added to Handbook 2, an instruction manual for local leaders.

“Churches are dedicated for the worship of God and as havens from the cares and concerns of the world,” the new firearms policy states. “With the exception of current law enforcement officers, the carrying of lethal weapons on church property, concealed or otherwise, is prohibited.”

Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff told The Salt Lake Tribune the update took effect weeks ago, and the church asked bishops in Texas to read a statement in sacrament meeting in response to state gun legislation that takes effect on Sept. 1.

Under the new Texas law, it is legal to carry concealed weapons in places of worship, but churches can prohibit weapons by giving “effective notice” verbally or thorough building signs.

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