VI – Self-Defense

Texas Enacts Church Self-Defense Civil Immunity

Effective September 1, 2023, Texas now provides self-defense immunity to churches as institutions as well as to the individuals who serve churches as armed security.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]

The new law, Senate Bill 694, establishes enhanced protection for church security teams, granting them civil immunity against legal repercussions when dealing with disruptive individuals during services.

[ Read articles in the SemperVerus category of Church Security ]

According to Texas Defense Force Security, the law “specifically targets disruptions during church services and provides church security teams with civil immunity when taking action to preserve the safety and sanctity of the worshippers. This legislation acknowledges that incidents of violence or disturbances can potentially impact not only the immediate congregation but also the broader community.

Survey: Protection Is the Main Reason People Own a Gun

Gun owners in the United States continue to cite protection far more than other factors as the major reason they own a gun.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Nebraska Is Now the 27th USA State That Allows Permitless Carrying of Concealed Firearms ]

And about half of Americans (47%) who don’t own a gun say they could imagine themselves as gun owners in the future.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, The Process of Becoming a First Time Gun Owner ]

According to the Pew Research Center survey, conducted June 5-11 among 5,115 members of the Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel, the vast majority of gun owners (81%) say they feel safer owning a gun.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Checklist: Matters to Consider When Deciding on a Handgun ]

Planning and Armed Congregants Top Church Security Measures

Around 4 in 5 US Protestant Pastors (81%) Say Their Church Has Some Type of Security Measure in Place When They Gather for Worship.

By Aaron Earls

Most churches have some type of security measures in place during worship services. Pastors point to intentional plans and armed church members more than other measures, but compared to three years ago, fewer say they have plans and more say they have gun-carrying congregants.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]

Numerous fatal shootings have occurred at churches in recent years. In March 2023, an armed assailant killed six people at The Covenant School, a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee. Shootings have also occurred at other places of worship like Jewish synagogues and Sikh temples.

[ Read articles in the SemperVerus category of Church Security ]

When asked about their protocols when they gather for worship, around 4 in 5 US Protestant pastors (81%) say their church has some type of security measure in place, according to a study from Lifeway Research. Still, more than 1 in 6 (17%) say they don’t use any of the seven potential measures included in the study, and 2% aren’t sure.

Video: How to Manage a Stranger’s Approach and Maintain Self-Defense

You’re walking from your car in a parking lot or standing on a downtown sidewalk and you observe a stranger coming your way who appears determined to talk with you. Not knowing if his intentions are malicious or innocent, what should you do to protect yourself as he closes distance with you? Is he preparing to spring an attack on you? Does he have an accomplice coming up behind you?

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Why 21 Feet Is Not a ‘Safe’ Distance ]

In the video below, self-defense trainer Craig Douglas of Shivworks offers a combination of three techniques to always use to properly and safely “manage unknown contacts” who encroach into your personal space when in public.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Simple Chart for Situational Awareness ]

The three skills encompass what, how, and where: