Diocesan Gun Policy
The Diocese of North Carolina declares its office properties, specifically the offices in Raleigh (200 West Morgan Street), gun-free zones. No guns concealed or otherwise are allowed on the premises.
We believe this policy is in keeping with the nonviolent principles of the life, teachings and example of Jesus and is responsive to Resolution 2012-D003 of our Church’s 77th General Convention recommending that all Episcopal dioceses and their congregations declare themselves a gun-free zone. We are not telling you what to do, and we are not telling you what decision to make. We are encouraging every congregation and its vestry to do its own prayerful and thoughtful discernment to review and determine its own policies and procedures. We ask you to consider seriously a policy that reflects the teachings of Jesus and the values of nonviolence.
We are deeply concerned about safety, and we will continue to provide resources and opportunities for trainings and assessments to help congregations address these concerns. With the increasing number of shootings in our schools and some churches, we believe it is important to state that we believe guns are not a helpful or a safe path to increased security.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does this policy apply to all churches in the Diocese of North Carolina?
No. This policy applies only to the diocesan office in Raleigh.
Are churches expected to follow the policy?
Though we hope churches will choose to follow the path of Jesus and support the direction The Episcopal Church committed to at the 77th General Convention to establish their properties a gun-free zone, every congregation must do its own discernment and make its own decision.
Will diocesan offices have a place to store weapons for those with appropriate carry permits?
No. Gun owners are responsible for safely securing and storing weapons before arriving on diocesan property.
Does this apply to law enforcement officials and security guards?
No. Law enforcement officials and paid, uniformed security guards are exempt from any private policy put in place.
I have appropriate permits to carry a gun. Why are you allowed to prohibit me from carrying it when visiting diocesan offices?
State statute 14-415.11 provides us the option of deciding to prohibit firearms on diocesan property.
Where is the best place to turn for guidance on this issue?
The best resource to enrich your discussion about whether or not to allow firearms on your church property is your local law enforcement offices. We strongly encourage you to contact them to ask about any resources they offer and to invite them in to your conversation to offer their expertise and insight.