Gun control supporters are up in arms over Louisiana’s new law allowing churchgoers to pack heat along with their Bibles.

Gov. Bobby Jindal gave his blessing this week to churches, synagogues and mosques to allow concealed handguns on their premises, overturning a state ban.

“The governor’s position on the Second Amendment is not new,” Jindal spokesman Kyle Plotkin said in a written statement to “He sides with the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners.”

Supporters of the measure say it can be a deterrent against criminal activity in church and will give an option to ministers and pastors to incorporate concealed handguns into their security plans.

Opponents argue it’s inappropriate to have concealed handguns in church.

Places of worship that invite concealed guns will have to inform their members of the decision and anyone wishing to carry one will have to take an extra eight hours of tactical training each year – a requirement that doesn’t mollify gun opponents.

“The question Louisiana residents need to be asking themselves is: Is someone who takes a single eight-hour class fit to defend themselves should a crisis situation arise in the church?,” said Ladd Everitt, a spokesman for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. “We would say no.”

Everitt said violent crimes should be handled by police officers, who have extensive training with firearms. At a minimum, he added, the law should demand more extensive requirements of churchgoers.

“There are enough people with that level of training, that level of accountability,” he said. “We are seeing the NRA moving us to vigilante-type justice with little accountability.”

Jindal signed the bill by Republican Rep. Henry Burns on Tuesday. The new law, which takes effect August 15, does not apply to churches on school property.

Louisiana becomes one of the few states allowing concealed guns in places of worship, gun control advocates said. Similar legislation failed in Kansas, Mississippi and Ohio, according to the Legal Community Against Violence, a public interest law center based in San Francisco.

Earlier this year, Georgia passed a law that allows churchgoers to carry concealed weapons in the parking lots of churches.

Source: Stephen Clark for Fox News.

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