LDS Churches and Temples in Utah

person curatorfolder_openProhibited Placeslocal_offer, , access_time January 26, 2009

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as Mormon’s, recently requested of the Utah State Legislature to be able to prohibit firearms from their Houses of Worship. This prohibition covers their Ward and Stake Houses (church buildings) and Temples (but does not cover parking lots of the same).

This is different that other private property owners who can post signs prohibiting firearms, but those signs have no legal backing; the private property owner is the sole party responsible for enforcing their policy. “Houses of Worship,” however, had to have the following law passed because most churches (the LDS church in particular) openly welcome the public (LDS church houses have a sign out front which states “Public Welcome” or “Visitors Welcome”). This muddied the law and made church houses quasi-public spaces, which apparently convey quasi-public rights. The LDS church is the only church organization that has completed the requirements of 76-10-530 to lawfully prohibit firearms in their Houses of Worship (effective February 9, 2008 – one month after a member was murdered in cold blood in an LDS church parking lot1, 2).

According to Utah State Code as pulled from http://le.utah.gov/~code/TITLE76/htm/76_10_053000.htm on 01/27/2009:

76-10-530. Trespass with a firearm in a house of worship or private residence — Notice — Penalty.
     (1) A person, including a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm pursuant to Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7, Concealed Weapon Act, after notice has been given as provided in Subsection (2) that firearms are prohibited, may not knowingly and intentionally:
     (a) transport a firearm into:
     (i) a house of worship; or
     (ii) a private residence; or
     (b) while in possession of a firearm, enter or remain in:
     (i) a house of worship; or
     (ii) a private residence.
     (2) Notice that firearms are prohibited may be given by:
     (a) personal communication to the actor by:
     (i) the church or organization operating the house of worship;
     (ii) the owner, lessee, or person with lawful right of possession of the private residence; or
     (iii) a person with authority to act for the person or entity in Subsections (2)(a)(i) and (ii);
     (b) posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of persons entering the house of worship or private residence;
     (c) announcement, by a person with authority to act for the church or organization operating the house of worship, in a regular congregational meeting in the house of worship;
     (d) publication in a bulletin, newsletter, worship program, or similar document generally circulated or available to the members of the congregation regularly meeting in the house of worship; or
     (e) publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the house of worship is located or the church or organization operating the house of worship has its principal office in this state.
     (3) A church or organization operating a house of worship and giving notice that firearms are prohibited may:
     (a) revoke the notice, with or without supersedure, by giving further notice in any manner provided in Subsection (2); and
     (b) provide or allow exceptions to the prohibition as the church or organization considers advisable.
     (4) (a) (i) Within 30 days of giving or revoking any notice pursuant to Subsection (2)(c), (d), or (e), a church or organization operating a house of worship shall notify the division on a form and in a manner as the division shall prescribe.
     (ii) The division shall post on its website a list of the churches and organizations operating houses of worship who have given notice under Subsection (4)(a)(i).
     (b) Any notice given pursuant to Subsection (2)(c), (d), or (e) shall remain in effect until revoked or for a period of one year from the date the notice was originally given, whichever occurs first.
     (5) Nothing in this section permits an owner who has granted the lawful right of possession to a renter or lessee to restrict the renter or lessee from lawfully possessing a firearm in the residence.
     (6) A violation of this section is an infraction.

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