Mormon church leaders ban weapons from houses of worship

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Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Rich Bowmer/AP)

NYDailyNews. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has explicitly banned guns and all other lethal weapons from its houses of worship in response to a new Texas law, which will allow licensed parishioners to carry firearms in churches, synagogues and other religious buildings.

A previous church policy had dubbed carrying weapons on church property “inappropriate,” but an update to the Mormon handbook sent to local church leaders over the weekend now forbids them outright.

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

In a letter explaining the new rule, which went into effect at the start of August, Mormon church leaders said it was in anticipation of a new Texas law, which makes clear residents are allowed to bring weapons into places of worship unless they are told otherwise.

Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said the letter was first sent to religious leaders in Texas and shared with the 360,000 worshipers in the area.

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