Local Pastors Talk About Allowing Their Congregation To Conceal Carry

SEBASTIAN COUNTY (KFSM) -- The recent mass church shooting in Texas has smaller churches in our area talking about safety and security.

"I personally believe that if someone in that church this past Sunday had their weapon with them, then maybe some of the lives that were taken could've been saved," said Tashala Devrow, pastor of The House of Restoration in Fort Smith.

On any given Sunday, certain people at The House of Restoration congregation are allowed to concealed carry, but Devrow said people do have to get his approval to carry their weapon.

"For everyone that does, I need to know who they are, but at the same time, I think it can become careless to just allow anyone to bring your weapons in church," he said. "We have to use wisdom with that."

About 200 people attend The House of Restoration.

"As a pastor here, I want to do everything that I can to protect our congregation," he said.

Pastor Russ Tyler at First Southern Baptist Church in Central city said he feels the same way.

"It's something that we always have to continually do, think about the safety of our people," Tyler said.

Security has increased at First Southern Baptist Church because of recent church shootings.

"Where we are here in Central City, we have someone always stationed here in our foyer," he explained. "They stay out there the entire time, and they not only watch from out there, they watch the parking lot as well.:

They also keep the doors locked during business hours, have security cameras, and allow people with concealed carry permits to carry their weapons.

"Those who do have conceal-carry, we ask them either to keep it concealed or keep it in their vehicle because we know we have our folks here that are professionally trained to handle any security situation," Tyler said.

Each church's concealed carry policy varies, so it is important to ask your church leaders what they allow.