SALT LAKE CITY – Most members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints already knew they were discouraged from taking their guns to church on Sunday, but the church is making sure that message is crystal clear by tweaking the policy to prohibit all lethal weapons.
The previous policy called it inappropriate to have weapons on church property. It still includes an exception for law enforcement officers.
The clarification comes one year after a fatal shooting inside one of its churches in rural Nevada and as religions around the country grapple with how to deal with gun violence that has spread to places of worship.
The change went into effect the first week of August and a letter explaining it was first sent to local leaders in Texas and shared with members there, said church spokesman Daniel Woodruff. The impetus was a new Texas law that takes effect soon that makes it clearer in state law that licensed handgun holders can carry weapons in churches, synagogues and other houses of worship.