The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently released a statement announcing the church’s stance on carrying guns in their meetinghouses. The new policy prohibits lethal weapons of any kind on church property.
“Churches are dedicated for the worship of God and as havens from the cares and concerns of the world,” according to a written statement by the church. “With the exception of current law enforcement officers, the carrying of lethal weapons on church property, concealed or otherwise, is prohibited.”
According to the Institute of Religion, UVU currently has over seven thousand students attending the Utah Valley Institute of Religion on campus. The Institute of Religion building is owned by the LDS church, and is used for teaching and learning LDS gospel principles.
The Utah Valley Institute of Religion was unable to comment on the policy change, but will be following the direction of the church by prohibiting all lethal weapons on the property.
Students and staff at UVU that hold a concealed firearm permit are still allowed to possess their firearms on campus.
“I always think to myself when I’m attending classes, ‘I hope someone is carrying a gun’, just in case something were to happen,” said Kenna Gifferd, a political science major at UVU. “I definitely won’t feel as safe when attending institute [classes].”
The church’s new policy will directly affect UVU students that carry a concealed firearm or a weapon of any kind. If the student chooses to carry on campus, they will not be able to bring the weapon into the Institute building. Students will need to be responsible for finding a safe place to store their weapon while attending institute class.
“I usually carry a knife with me everywhere I go,” said Jeremiah St. Jeor, a student at UVU.“I will no longer be bringing my knife to institute class because I’ve been asked not to.”