On Wednesday, Archbishop Rozanski was joined by St. Louis faith leaders in a press conference to indicate their opposition to "guns in church" legislation that recently passed out of the Missouri House. HB 944 would, among other things, allow concealed carry permit holders to carry a gun into a church without penalty. Current law requires concealed carry permit holders to obtain permission from the church pastor in order to carry a concealed weapon into a church. If the bill were to pass, churches would have to post signs in a conspicuous place prohibiting guns in order to remain a gun-free zone.
Archbishop Rozanski denounced the legislation, calling it a violation of free exercise of religion and freedom of speech. "Our churches, shrines, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship are welcoming places of peace and of prayer." Archbishop Rozanski called upon the legislature to instead work on a "bi-partisan collaboration that supports and celebrates life." Faith leaders from other local churches also spoke in opposition to the legislation, calling it an infringement on their First Amendment right to control their churches and an impediment to security plans they already have in place.
The full press conference can be found on the Archdiocese of St. Louis Facebook page.