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House Bill 421 -- The Church Vigilante Bill

Contact: Chuck Chadwick, 972-712-8818

FRISCO, Texas, March 8, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ -- The following is submitted by Chuck Chadwick, Founder and President of National Organization for Church Security and Safety Management:

    Are you ready for roving bands of vigilantes in the church parking lots? Gunslingers in the pews just waiting for a false move? Then welcome house bill 421.

    Before we unleash throngs of untrained pistol packing parishioners on the unsuspecting public in their churches, please indulge me as I bring you a perspective from a person who has lived within the existing laws regarding security of houses of worship for over a decade in Texas.

    Under HB421 there would be no background check, absolutely no security training and no financial responsibility in the form of liability insurance. Anyone could put on a uniform, badge and firearm and merely say "I'm a volunteer, so I'm exempt from all regulations."

    Amid the fear mongering are tails that Texas law enforcement is rounding up people who are innocently just watching their children or walking in the parking lot. This is the new "fake news" to get churches exempt from any type of training so they can act as police and security officers.

    Cries of "tyrannical government" under the guise of "religious liberty" are among the labels now attributed to current professional security regulations that make sure that the officers that patrol our neighborhood churches are adequately trained. State representatives are petrified of opposing the bill under the premise of fear of being branded as coming out against the safety of churches.

    Current security regulations mandate that security officers are actually trained in legal security protocol and procedures. These include non-lethal hand-to-hand defensive tactics, non-lethal intermediate weapons, handcuffing and arrest and detainment procedures.

    HB421 basically says that persons that perform the function of a professional security officer don't need training and subsequent licensing because they don't need it and can't afford it. It didn't know that we started selectively enforcing public safety laws based on corporate entity type or perceived affordability.

    There are currently 68 professional occupations that require a license in Texas. Everything from an acupuncturist to a solid waste technician. Would you go to an unlicensed doctor to have an operation? Would you promote that people don't need auto liability insurance? Would you think that we don't need police who are trained in non-lethal force methods? This is the premise of HB421. If all the training is a gun the old saying goes "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." We have professional licensing as a safeguard against persons who would perform services that need formal training without the proof of such, like licensing and insurance. Under HB421, churches would designate persons with absolutely zero security training to be task with the security of others. No insurance would be required in case of wrongdoing.

    In the state house DHS committee meeting on March 7, 2017 we heard from a gentleman that insisted the training and licensing wasn't needed because these church security people were only doing security work for a few hours a week. That's like saying a brain surgeon that only operates on your brain on Monday mornings a few hours don't need training or licensing. These church security people are running around with guns ready to kill people.

    Please join me in writing your state representatives and senators to help defeat this absolutely terrible idea. Write him/her now before they unleashed the vigilantes in your church.