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August 22, 2019

To Area Seventy in the State of Texas

Dear Brethren:

Texas Legislation Regarding Firearms on Religious Premises

Under legislative changes that become effective on September 1, 2019, it will no


longer be illegal to carry concealed weapons in places of worship. However, the law
permits churches to prohibit weapons on religious premises by giving “effective
notice”. The effective notice may be written (i.e., posting a sign on the building) or
oral (announced verbally).

The decision has been made not to place written signs on our buildings, but rather,
prior to September 1, 2019 we are asking all bishops in Texas to read the following
statement in the sacrament meetings of all units to give effective oral notice to
members of the Church and visitors that weapons are not permitted:

“As of September 1, 2019, Texas law will permit the carrying of open and
concealed weapons in places of worship unless a person is notified that
it is prohibited. The Handbook states: “Churches are dedicated for the
worship of God and as havens from the cares and concerns of the world.
With the exception of current law enforcement officers, the carrying of
lethal weapons on Church property, concealed or otherwise, is
prohibited” (Handbook 1, 8.4.5; Handbook 2: Administering the Church
[2019], 21.2.4). This announcement constitutes effective notice that it
is not permissible to enter the premises of Latter-day Saint buildings
with open or concealed weapons except as permitted by the Church’s
policy.”

Those not in attendance when this policy is announced may possibly carry a gun, open
or concealed, into a Church building in the future. Should that occur, the priesthood
leader should read the approved statement (above) and kindly ask them to comply
by removing the firearm from the building. This action will satisfy the legal notice
requirement for that and any future occurrences.
It may also be helpful to ask priesthood leaders to discuss this policy in ward and
stake councils and to train members, as needed, to address any concerns. All
immediate threats are to be reported immediately to local law enforcement.

Sincerely yours,

THE NORTH AMERICA SOUTHWEST AREA PRESIDENCY