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Logo of Michigan Camp Meeting 2018: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

Risk Management for Schools & Churches

Leander Tomazeli


How to better protect our children and congregation.




  • June 21, 2018
    3:30 PM
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Our gracious Father in heaven we come before you this afternoon thank you so much for the many blessings you've given us what a beautiful sight here at this camp meeting that you've provided we just ask a special blessing on all the seminars that are going on and she today as we talk about a topic that many conferences are concerned about and that's the use guns we just ask for your understanding and love and thank you for all that you've done for us amen we're here to talk about guns in churches from a liability standpoint there's a whole nother issue even though it will kind of cover it and sometimes they interact with each other and that's the the moral side of that or the legal side of that but I'm really here to give a presentation in regards to the liability aspect of it most of you know and let me just get back if you have a car you have insurance on that car right you have a home you have home insurance on that car in that home if you own a business you probably have some general liability coverage with that business in regards to protecting you the individual for any general liability claims that may come up any negligent claims that may come up or maybe even cover maybe a contractual issue that has gone wrong or something well the church is no different than you as an individual in the sense that the church has insurance the church in its wisdom back in the thirty's developed their own insurance company. And it's unique within many of the Protestant denominations the Catholics and Mormons are different set up in regards to how they handle their liability claims but the administers has their own insurance company. And the General Conference set up a separate corporation to manage that insurance company that's other corporation is administrates management and there are what about $140.00 employees within that company that all they do is manage this insurance company I'm in just one little section of that company in that I'm one of 5 now maybe 6 attorneys that handle liability claims for the administration whenever there's a claim just like your automobile if you're involved in an accident you notify your insurance company was an insurance company do well they protect you they may pay damages on your automobile they may pay for damages if someone was injured in that accident and the other person may have insurance as well so I do that for the church so just as an example if someone here at the camp meeting. Trips over a sidewalk and maybe the sidewalk was raised a little or should have been fixed or wasn't fixed or something along those lines and the injure themselves they could bring a claim against the within the conference for liability issues and eventually that would be handled by typically one of the attorneys and we would negotiate some type of a resolution to resolve that claim sometimes those claimants will hire their own attorneys and we then interact with those attorneys in trying to resolve the claim and try to resolve it prior to any type of lawsuit but if there is a lawsuit involved then we will retain local counsel to to manage those claims and eventually again try to resolve those claims either in a mediation or something along those lines so that we understand where I'm coming from in regards to this particular topic and that is really the liability issues that guns present now. So I don't mean to cut you off I got this I've got this a pillar right here so I feel kind of like I'm walking around but. From a liability standpoint we've all heard in the news that there have been these mass shootings these shootings that occur. And ditches are not unique in the sense of where those shootings occur and there I know that Our been advised that there have been some churches that approach the conference and say look it. We want to consider arming ourself to protect ourselves to protect our members in case there happens to be a shooting here at our church. Well that raises a red flag certainly with the conference when that issue arises and they then get on the phone or contact Leander and say hey wait a minute we've got we've got some churches that are concerned about this and Michigan conference is not unique in that regards other conferences I've given this topics on several other cations with other churches who have approached their conferences in that regards So again my topic here is in regards to potentially liability issues with bringing about guns and churches so let me just give a little background I'm an attorney I'm not really a historian major but let's just talk about the historical background really we talk about the constitution of 789 Well there are those of founding fathers who didn't feel that the Constitution went far enough there were some that didn't feel that they should even have a constitution and so as part of the compromise we understood that the far the founding fathers then said look we want to have a bill or we want to have articles want to have additions to the to the constitution to give people individual rights. At the time was a really thought of individual rights but it's thought of state rights and so the 1st 10 amendments to the Constitution are we are referred to as the Bill of Rights by the way does anybody can anybody tell me how many amendments there are currently 18 there's 2727 amendments and I can't tell you when the last one was but it's been a while to actually get an amendment passed is very difficult within the system the way the constitution set that up to be ratified by all the states and so it's it's basically doesn't doesn't occur anymore but there's $27.00 of those the 14th Amendment is the amendment that actually allows or. That that the courts use to apply the admits to personal rights and to state rights that's the 14th Amendment so. What are we talking about well. In regards to to the rights of of an individual to to carry just to carry a gun we talk about the 2nd Amendment it's pretty basic says A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed that one sentence over the decades has caused considerable debate in regards to what that actually means or how that's interpreted I think it's 2007 the Supreme Court in 5 to 4 ruling in in. District of Columbia versus Hiller said that that applies to individual rights to cover or to carry guns so the Supreme Court has interpreted this the last interpretation of this amendment is that. An individual has a right to carry guns now is it unlimited No we know that in every very different jurisdiction some people say I have a right to carry a gun I can carry it anywhere and carried it any time and the answer to that is simply no that's not accurate most states most jurisdictions have regulations on how you purchase a gun what you do with the gun where you can carry it where you can't carry it so it doesn't ultimately give you an open book to just to carry a gun wherever you want but it does give an individual right to go down and purchase a gun. Wherever with with whatever parameters there are so we're talking about active shootings now and we talk about the percentage of where did these shootings occur well this is a study by the F.B.I. and you can see that it's from 2002000 to 2013 you can see that most of the shootings occur within a business or school that's where these shootings occur. What their definition is for a mass shooting I won't get into it but because it's different definitions on what is a mass shooting but the but the concept is the what we're talking about is someone going in and killing people killing people for whatever reason. Most shooters in these situations are mills we haven't had a female shooter at least not documented at least under these under these definitions most of the males are 20 to 40 years old. Most of the shootings occur with an A R 15 an automatic weapon modified or bought that way and that most of the guns used in these shootings are obtained legally Artane legally this study was actually updated in 20142015 then again by the F.B.I. in 2015 to 2016 or 16 to 17 excuse me and over that period of time they added 50 mass shootings within their definition and out of those 50 there were only 2 out of the 50 that occurred in a place of worship in a place of worship if you're concern of those that are concerned about having. A shooting at your church you're more likely to have a shooter come to the conference office or to a school and shoot than you are at it at a church service themselves. I know a lot of conferences simply because that district and because of threats that they've had have now beefed up their security at a conference office as to who can get in who can get out but statistically you're more likely to have a mass shooting or some type of shooting at a school or at the conference office a school shooting as a whole nother ball game that's a whole nother topic that we want even discussed today because that covers other issues that. That are different than a church setting OK By the way. I have we have a lot of time and I will in attain and will encourage questions. Maybe at the end take the questions but if you really have an urgency to feel like you're running ask me something feel free to raise your hand and ask me something and I'll leave the DEFER maybe to the end or I'll try to answer it there so so it's not just me talking I'd like to interact if you have any questions or any comments please feel free to give those out. You know most shootings also involve domestic issues or they involve family issues or employment issues when they when those the shooters that actually live through the shooting they aren't killed or commit suicide and they analyze it those are the 3 most. Basic issues that that's going on with the shooter and most of the shooters are known both the shooters they know who they know the people that they're shooting or interacting with. So how common Archer shootings this is a. This is off the internet tell you this but most of the research that's done is off the Internet if you search the internet long enough you can find almost anything you want to find right you can find anything you want to find. And I know I'm not doubting for these figures in the sense of in the sense of that they're totally accurate but they are off the Internet. And the concept of giving you these numbers is again from an insurance company standpoint we underwrite liability and statistics and numbers are important to insurance companies I don't do that thank goodness in that business but there are people that do that so here's this particular cut this gospel coalition and Joe Carter they did this analysis it's their analysis that in 206-2017 there are approximately $24.00 shootings which if you take that that's $2.00 shootings per year in a house of worship there are estimated $378.00 congregations in the United States the law so you take those numbers the likelihood of any congregation being involved in a shooting in any year is $126000.00 occurrences but they go one step further and they say if a congregation meets one time per week there are $9000.00 almost $20000000.00 services in a year 20000000 services in a year. I know some people say Jeff but we meet on Tuesday nights for by will worship and we meet on Wednesday nights for another program so there are more than there is more than one service per week OK. Except that but in regards to giving you an idea of what the numbers are this they used one week percent of us that means that odds of being in being an adult church on any given Sabbath where there would be a shooting are one in 6 and a half 1000000 chances you have an odd year your odds are better of getting hit by lightning than they are being involved in a in a shooting at a place of worship. Or winning the Powerball jackpot than being in a shooting at a place of worship on any given Sabbath those that odds really are pretty astronomical or really statistically improbable that that will happen at your church. So let's talk about the liabilities of implications of bringing guns to churches it's important and critical and it has to be done at a conference level and passed down to the churches the policy that we underwrite for churches the general liability policy excludes eliminates excludes any coverage for the use of a gun at church by an employee or by a volunteer The policy does not include any type of general liability coverage for that that should be information number one that is passed on from the conference down to the local churches and I'll explain that to you in a sin a 2nd it's typically although we have had pastors come to to us and say I want to get up on Sabbath and from the pulpit I want to be packing a gun we've had pastors who have asked to do that but typically typically that's not the scenario the scenario is that there that either through the pastor through the local church there are volunteers who will say. I'm willing to protect the church from a mass shooter and I will be the one that will carry a gun OK I understand that under the policy that we have currently there is no coverage there's no liability coverage for even a volunteer to bring a gun yes or. Yes Well with the qualifying but the the bigger answer to that is yes that's right that's an element of knowledge and I'll get into that in a 2nd but that's exactly what it covers it covers any incidental incidences that a gun may occur or using a gun may happen to anybody who is an innocent bystander so I'll cover that and I'll give examples and I'll give illustrations on on how that how that applies in a liability standpoint yes or. No. Well well OK I'm not sure that. OK 1st of all let's let's let's separate the issue here we're talking about liability issues the issue between the shooter and the victim. Or the shooter himself from a criminal Sam point we're not addressing we're not addressing here whoever the shooter is whether the shooter is a member of the church or whether the shooter is someone who comes in we're not addressing the criminal aspect of that OK we're not we're only dressing What is the church's responsibility and what is there potential liability could there be a claim between the shooter and the victim absolutely battery different different different causes of action that could be used negligent kind of claims that actions except most of the time negligent claims are not an issue with intentional torts going back to law school days intentional torts if you intend to do something that's not negligence right you don't run a red light to to hit someone and hurt someone you accidentally you negligently run the red light and that's where your insurance co insurance will cover you because you are negligent in some fashion so the key is the key is an intentional The key is negligence that's what liability insurance is in and I will cover that because that that's an element that needs to be understood within the context of what we're talking about the purpose behind the policy is that arm tailors its policy for the church organizations exposures we've already understood we already understand that the exposure to actually that happening within a particular church service on any given Sunday is really minimal if nonexistent the industry the insurance industry which were part of the insurance industry treats its exposure as unique exposure and is therefore placed outside of the general liability policy and it simply is a risk financing issue how many of you have applied recently for life insurance if you've applied for a life insurance term life insurance. If you do you'll have someone over the phone or face to face with you say age. Of occupation do you smoke do you smoke do you drink you know what is your past medical history Oh sorry where my. OK sorry of leave it there. Do you drink and then they usually conclude with these these 3 questions do you own a plane and are you a pilot one are you a pilot do you skydive parachute out of a plane and number 3 do you scuba dive do you scuba dive those are 3 standard questions that any life insurance company will ask you in re getting a policy why do they ask those questions. Yeah I don't think those activities are inherently dangerous if something goes wrong with your parachute it's bad news if something goes wrong with your airplane typically it's not going to end well and scuba diving if you're down underneath the ocean and something happens usually results in some type of. Catastrophic type of injury that's not to say and I'm not here to say that use of guns in here is an inherent dangerous activity I'm not saying that people hear that and say Oh Jeff I you guy go out to the I go out to the shooting range and use guns all the time and that in and of itself is not inherently dangerous I agree I agree I'm not here to suggest that thanks I'm not here to suggest that the use of guns is inherently dangerous However however the use of guns if they're used improperly in some fashion even if they're used in a good way usually result in bad things either death or serious injuries. And that's a concern and that's an issue then with with part of the reason that that particular activity is excluded just like when the insurers in in the overall insurance industry why other activities are looked at and considered and either you're not be able to buy insurance if you say yes I'm a pilot Yes I'm a scuba diver or yes I'm a parachute jump or they may not exclude you but your premiums I can tell you will go weak appear appear. So it's good it's also important to understand where the local church fits into this bigger picture there picture. Who owns the church conference owns the church who owns the school the conference owns the school now it is true that the local pastor and the local church board they manage the church within their budget they'll upkeep pushing the bill out keep the church but who do they do it on behalf of the do it on behalf of the conference conference. A lot of people will say look at I can it's private property I can bring I can bring any I can do anything I want on my piece of property I can do anything I want to my piece of property Well yes that's true but the property owner potentially true obviously it's not totally tree but that the property owner also has the ability to restrict things that they do on their property there's nothing that prevents me from smoking right there's no law that says I can't smoke there's a law that that I can't go buy a pack of cigarettes and smoke does the school have a policy here no smoking on campus Yeah sure they do the church have a policy yeah they do they have a right to restrict what activities occur on their piece of property. The church has the right to put their church in a no weapons own or they can say this particular piece of property we're not having any weapons on this piece of property they have a right to restrict that regardless of what the Constitution says in regards to whether you have a right to carry a gun a property owner can restrict the limits on where that occurs on their piece of property and it's also important understand that. Any active Well OK I'll cover that occur that next next slide but here in Michigan and I'm not here to tell you all the gun laws that apply are here in Michigan I'm not I don't know mall but here is one that I do know that's very applicable in regards to the issue of liability issues end of carrying guns in Michigan in Michigan you can carry a concealed weapon you have to go through the process of applying for that price that that application and you can get a concealed weapon there are restrictions on where you can carry that concealed weapon even here in Michigan and $1.00 of those concerns one of those restrictions is any property a facility owned or operated by a church synagogue place of worship mosque I left out all the other definitions of a church or place of worship but there is a caviar Well let me let me back up this doesn't include the parking lot so so if you're packing a gun even with a concealed you're OK in the parking lot of the Church want to step on to the church property into the facility you're precluded from carrying a gun it also and I want to call if I this it does not include any. Law enforcer or any other agency governmental agency person who as part of their employment as part of their employment is licensed or can carry a gun an off duty officer that one that's their plighted I'm talking about the I'm talking now about just an individual who owns a gun as a concealed weapons permit they can be precluded there precluded by Michigan law from actually carrying it on the Church except in this very critical unless the presiding officer official or officials of the church permit carrying of the concealed pistol on the property of facility that I think the official or officials are well I can tell you it could be from a from a liability Sam point it could be certainly the conference conference representative. Pastor for sure the pastor it could probably be the head elder it could actually maybe even go down to the head elder you or that or that or the church board collectively. Sir that would give give that permission Oh. Well well well if my understanding of Michigan law is correct if he gave you permission then you have a concealed weapon as far as the law goes say law goes you be allowed to carry it on church property from a liability Sam point is the pastor have the right to give that to you Well he better check with the Conference better check with the conference. And really that the conference is a critical player in this whole picture because again. They are the insured and in Uganda also get the bigger picture in mind that your local church is just an extension of not only the other sisterhood of churches within your conference but your conference as a sisterhood of the unions the unions are conses the hood of the divisions which is sisterhood of the world church the General Conference and every action that takes place at a local level has a domino effect in regards to how your conference reacts how your conference responds how your other churches respond if one church says you know what I I really you know I don't really care what the conference says I'm going to do my own thing and my church board is gives me empowers me or as a pastor I'm empowering the church board to do whatever they feel is necessary regardless of what the conferences position may be or administers management or anybody else's position where local church we're going to handle it locally. The way that our church is designated in the way our church is set up that particular thought process has a domino effect on how other churches react how other churches claim if there is a line if there's a liability claim that occurs where something happens at a particular church at a particular school the common policy kicks in but that has a direct impact on not only not only that but the other conference but potentially in other conferences will we talk about 15 passenger vans right 15 passenger van that's just an example. It's not every conference has use of 15 passenger van in fact if you look at the statistics there's only been a few conferences that really want to use the 15 passenger van but we have had horrible horrible instances with 15 where millions and millions of dollars have been paid on behalf of victims or claimants involved in a 15 passenger van What's the domino effect of that the the NE D. now says as a policy no more 15 passenger vans Well I never use a 15 passer Yes but we're telling you now that without within other conferences it's an issue and we don't want you to use 15 passenger vans Well the same domino effect would have place if there were it with any liability issue and that includes an issue with the work with the church you had a question sir. I mean. I'm. OK. That this might be I mean. It may depend on what your insurance policy says it depends on what your coverage is. How what your limit of coverage when you don't have to tell me you don't have tell me but that's an issue that's an issue of of of what the what the liability coverage is I can tell you that the liability coverage for the conference there's different levels the conference is always considered the deep pocket because of their levels of liability because of the level of coverage though of coverage. But let's talk about specifics now. Backwards Ari who is liable and this goes to your question sir what about that situation and let me just use a couple examples that hopefully you know all understand and if you don't raise your hand because I want to try to make it as clear as clear as possible. The church says to themselves and then it's not exclusive but church says look at we believe that in today's society in today's setting we want to arm we want to be an arm church to do. To react in case there is a shooting within our church in our school church board feels strong enough that we want to interact with with that. So within the church port at the church board level the pastor says OK look at. There's 3 volunteers here that will act as our security guards they'll act as our security guards and and Joe and John and Bill are going to act as our security guards they act as their security guards and next Sabbath someone comes in starts shooting away the safety officers react to that and take care of the shooter but in doing so 3 members are hit 3 members are hit and wounded maybe killed. Those 3 members say wait a minute. I'm an innocent bystander. I don't believe that I was I think there was negligence involved they hire an attorney the tourney goes yeah there's negligence involved Where's that negligence involved Well I can tell you what would happen is that they would follow a lawsuit if a lawsuit in the Navy the conference they name the pastor individually they would name the they would name the 3 volunteers who had the guns who had the guns and they name them all in a lawsuit and they go to a conference a conference did you know that this this pastor had authorized guns. No but if they said no no well should you have known well no we tell our pastors that they're supposed to let us know so you should have known right in other words that the pastor didn't tell you that's not that's your problem because you should have the pastor should have told you OK OK So you knew or should have known that there was it's they go to the pastor Pastor did you give authority to these to these build Joe and Bill or John whatever the names are to to be security guards it's hurt yes I did I did well what kind of what kind of training did you provide them well they just told me they were good shooters they told me that they were good and they take care of it well did they go through any type of acknowledgement as far as what their background was well I knew that they had a permit to carry a gun that's all you knew how do you know if they could shoot the backside of a barn why I don't really know that either and even if I had even if you'd gone to a shooting range with them how would you have been able to what your background pastor of using a gun but I've never used one before I guarantee you that you'd get slammed in front of a jury on that kind of case and millions of dollars would probably exchange hands and who pains that the conference pays that because it's their liability insurance what happens when their premiums come around the next time around that's passed on to all the churches around because one church decided to do that at that scenario now the scenario is the pastor says someone comes to the pastor and says Pastor. I believe or group or the church or even the church board goes to passes look I believe that we should have. Armed armed guards here here at the church. Passes Oh no no no no I've been told that that the conference. Won't allow that and furthermore I've been told that the liability insurance won't cover me if I give you that option if I give you that permission but so I'm not to give it to you but he he winks at the same time said you know with the understanding that the conference he's not verbal they give that confirmation but there's an understanding there's an understanding at that level that that's what's going to take place. Are you following that scenario same thing happens lawsuit involves conferences Well no I didn't know. Should have known well I tell the pastors to let us know and we told him not to do that passes Oh no I told the person I told the person. That that I wasn't allowed to give him permission they go to the oh yeah the pastor knew we carry guns yeah you told us not to Buddy we knew that wink was there we did that wink was there and it was it was implicit it was it was it was given that knowledge was given to us not actual knowledge but implied knowledge that we were to do that now that goes back to now you take keep that in mind and I'm going to answer this gentleman's question because all I have liability insurance that covers me for that covers me for that the odds are that your insurance doesn't have enough coverage to cover those victims what is your insurance company go do there go to the conference and their lawyers or go to a conference and say oh well we believe that Mike I have to mission to do it and therefore any liability issues now reverts back to the conference. Back to the concert I keep wanting to use or I don't know why a key point in the year but but I think you raise your hand as a as an employee dogcart. Yeah maybe maybe so I'm not implying that he's but that's how that's how your insurance would would maybe pain initially but it's not going to it's not going to keep the conference or the local pastor from getting involved. Ever so you're. OK No it was a let me give another scenario OK Let me give the 3rd scenario same thing same thing the church board goes to goes to the pastor and says we want to have armed guards we've got to have armed guards passes no conscience still told me No I'm not supposed to do that and we're not we're not covered under any liability coverage whether I think we should or not it's the answer is no and. Then. What should the pastor do to follow that up the pastor should in writing by an e-mail confirm that conversation with the people that he had it with and say this is I just want to verify I just want to confirm my conversation that I had with you Bill Joe and George on these day that you asked if we should have armed services and I'm telling you the answer is no and therefore. I want to confirm this now why is that important that's important because in a liability lawsuit we go back to the same scenario now and in questioning in discovery the conference has no we didn't know about it we didn't we didn't have any knowledge of it should have known well maybe maybe not Pastor says I didn't know about it yes they asked me and I told them no. The gentleman said oh no the pastor knew we did it know the pastor knew we did it the pastors go pull out some emails say no I told them not to do it I specifically said they shouldn't do it and here is proof not only that I'm telling you virtually that I told it but I'm also giving proof that I documented that they shouldn't do it that they shouldn't do it so if there's any conference representatives here that's exactly the order that I would I would tell them to do with their pastoral staff one no guns no guns are not covered you're not covered number 2 if you have someone who wants to use a gun you tell them No no use of a gun and in fact you follow that up with an e-mail of some sort or letter or something some type of confirmation so that if that happens that we're covered covering ourselves from liability Let's go back to the other to the 1st scenario where or there's either implicit knowledge actual knowledge or implied knowledge what happens from a monetary standpoint when that case goes to a jury and the jury says. Yeah we find the church liable for not training not properly training or allowing these members volunteers to use guns and in turn they injure someone and we're giving each of them a $1000000.00 Where does that money come from doesn't come from having this risk management comes from the conference general fund because they're uninsured they're uninsured under the circumstances there's no money other than their general funds to cover that. General concepts we don't have $3000000.00 laying around yeah that's why you need to make sure the pastors don't carry guns or that they that they are that they tell their volunteers not to carry guns because that money is not coming from insurance companies it's coming out of your general funds I've had it I've had insurance companies where where I've had arguments with the lawyers and I try to explain to lawyers look at this is a church you know yes we may have messed up but it's a church you know let's negotiate the fees and they've looked me in the eye and say your church has I mean your conference has 20 churches in there and I've done an assessment I visit load all 20 churches you know how much property your conference has how much worth your property it's worth $80000000.00 if I were so sell a church sell a church that's their approach that's their approach in negotiating these type of settlements if there's no insurance now if there's insurance then we negotiate and we're trying to you know negotiate a reasonable settlement or if there's no insurance there's no insurance company coverage it's not good for either the local church or certainly the conference the conference has to verified that's why typically we give this this message to the conferences because it starts there it goes down down to the local level you have a question for. Sure they have a right if they have a right to go after they have a right to go after this shooter jittered on any money right Judas don't have money or they may not be alive most of the time they're dead there's been. No there there. They would have a claim but there won't be any They want to get any monetary damages. If. Not well there are things that you can do but the protection that theory that there he doesn't go so far as you have to as a church carry in have armed services to protect your services because. Well or getting there we're getting there we're getting there yeah. We're talking about limiting it now to those scenarios where church says we want armed guards to protect our our our. Congregations Yes a matter. That's well that knowledge is the key question and if the answer to that is they did not have knowledge then there wouldn't be liability is that knowledge that's key now that that realistically does that present someone from carrying a gun a church no no anybody as long as they can be carry a gun a church there's. We don't go through metal detectors to get into the sanctuary you know so does this anything I'm talking about prevent someone from if they want to carry a gun carry a gun to church No we're talking about liability issues in regards to using that gun with the knowledge of the church or the conference in regards to protection of that congregation and negligence resulting from that now if they're if if if there is someone who carries a gun to church and reacts to that and in fact there is there's the victims or the claimants can they bring Do they have an action against. That person yes I guarantee they'll try to bring in the conference because the conference is the deep pocket but the cards go say no we have a policy no guns no guns we tell that to the pastors and passes say no we have a policy and I told the church were no guns so were you aware that Mr Smith carries a gun I don't know if he carries a gun or not I don't ask our house you know I certainly I what I can tell you is that I never gave Mr Smith the permission to use that gun in relationship to protection of the Concord congregation or you see that I bring my own. Office. Right. Now. If I need somebody. Area. I think you live. Absolutely in a criminal liability criminal liability there's all kinds of violence sure your own personal assets in effect this gentleman here carries personal insurance for that purpose in case just like a car insurance is in case there happen to be a victim or something unintentional or happened. So I'm just like. Frank you're. Right so RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT. Right. Or. Right well and I can. You know better and I but that's interesting because I've never actually had anybody in giving these presentations who did that they have a they have a concealed weapons actually tell me that they've had insurance so I commend you for THINK THINK you have Yeah right but I can guarantee you the problem most people don't have personal coverage on those issues. In the military. Well there's we're 5. There's insurance out there there's no question there's insurance out there so what what if if there it's a cost factor you know that's why you have volunteers is because it's why you don't that's why you don't have car you don't hire a gardener at church you get volunteers to do it because the cost factor I mean if you can't. So what if a church does feel that they want armed services then where does administering management come in here come into play and we recommend that if you really feel the need hire it out hired out you can hire services to protect you or to provide you with armed guards of your church the cost of that is something you have to negotiate but typically those companies will have their own insurance company have their own insurance coverage they're the 1st line of insurance coverage if there is something that goes wrong. There are questions you should ask if you're going to go that far again with our recommendation ravenous risk management is let the Conference know involve the conference the conference has to know that you're thinking along these lines and going with that and work with the local conference in in securing a company that will adequately provide that armed services for you. Their questions what are the qualifications of security your background checks and trainings of the personnel and the insurance coverage for that personal it can be expensive in and writing but there are people that could provide that service for you for the cost and and then take that 1st line of. Liability away from either the local church or the conference if again a church wants to go and have armed security they should contact in addition to the conference for certainly they should be in contact with administration management there are outside insurance companies that we can negotiate and broker with to possibly provide that coverage for you. OK we don't honor write it but we can possibly negotiate that for you we don't we don't encourage that we don't encourage it we don't even we don't even make it as necessarily a recommendation but that is that is the reality in the insurance world that there is insurance companies out there yeah yeah. Yeah the application for that typically typically local volunteers would even qualify under the restrictions guidelines that those insurance companies put out. There are companies out there read their policy and see what the qualifications are yeah and how expensive it is you know so so that would be that would be the recommendation of administering management if in fact the church feels that there's a need to have armed services armed guards for their services OK. This is an article. On. All. Arthel Neville. Well. Our. Person. Are. Both hard appear to me to believe. That's why. It's focusing on. For me. A lot of a lot of. Easily. Bringing that up I want to highlight of. Some of those things that we or even discuss. Happen sure and one of the things is that we I personally have. Evidence. I mean the safety of the church a team of people even a video. Of. The small are here we're sure John from properly so I believe but one coerced to. Save their lives. And there's a lot that comes with that shooters. So for example our. Sugars. Are doing early and I think. If an individual is. It's. All the church. It's usually in our. Looks most part. Where it's undoing that early identification. But stepping back a little bit. Over one. Or 2 least there are a lot of course there's a lot of. Change and the local piece. For example. The local news is. What you get to know you get snow you're building you're one of the I'm your partners in the social solution of creating a survey. So if you understand where the Axis forces are. And where. Having. These. Armors and take down. The insurer if necessary it's not all not only for the least T.V. invest. And create a. Response strategy so that all of your leaders are your church will understand what. Should receive but only the leaders but also for the Church that's in your part and even active shooter comes soon what should do as a church member we're going to getting shot most That's normal response but if we're least save the max. Staton our members so they can understand 1st of all where worry is that causes. Working you run to in case of an active shooter. That's very dated steps but makes a huge difference in the situation. So it's not only for active shooter and. Representation of. That but like a fire drill if there's a fire or what would you do you know they're used so those emergency strategies are key or. Perceived one of the points that the Sox were upset was to increase after hours in the planning part which means if the shooter plans an attack on your church here or she will likely arrive after the service begins think about that think about the pull of the you can you sue make sure they are dealing is. For the service pastor since each it you can have all of the wars or create some sort of safety strategy so make sure you do these proper security. And have someone talk about really identification using you know dandified people's appearance and my wing which in a when they were present danger not just in your church so those things make a huge difference like reducing the risk by. Any on your own you shifts the lighting of your facility that will help you know if you're going to do harm or you know one of the scenes so having like proper lighting the proper building and the. And lastly. He winds up landing as a. Force. So if we want to be proactive if you want to take the next act we should. Yes. We will warn about why we should and why we should not Jeff talked about why we should not from a like we stand point it all but I think and I feel. Very even Let's create a. Let's find our way Star We need a safety strategy even before. So now we have a few other things. Run fight and run high profile which is the government suggestions. That's that's my appeal to. You as as Leander has indicated there are a lot of things we can do that don't involve the use of guns. No repeating you can lock all the doors outside door so that there's only one entrance to the church service through the foyer you can get out that you can't get in that limits the access that you have to the church that is one area one thing and train your elders or something to look it's to carry a good in that's it's a concealed pistol. Usually And we know that mass shooters historically and statistically use larger guns those are pretty hard to hide you know. You get a sense that if someone's coming into the church again the problem with we under we also recognize that most shooters are known. Most shooters know and they have they know who you're dealing with so they get through the Mishal security because we know who they are but I also want to give that the solution it's a head in here but also want to give a plug for administering management go to their website and every month they produce a magazine or a or publication called the solution and within that solution they have a lot of good suggestions on on what to do in different situations not only just church services and this particular topic but all kinds of solutions activities field trips church picnics church activities school activities really go to go to that. Our website and look under solutions and read some of the articles that are produced they're really really good and interesting they're not that long you can read them in 10 minutes or really glean some good ideas from them so again run escape hide fight those are the 3 basic basic elements that any insurance company recommends that you do any law enforcement agency will say those are the 3 basic things to do flight move get away as quickly as possible if you can. Barricade or hide if you have the element and we don't see it very often but they recommend attack if you can if you're physically in a in proximity to to where you could where you could take down the shooter at least. Immobilize and in some fashion Those are the 3 elements that we we also encourage. Churches to do I think that the answer also brought up a huge element when I was Prince ball. On a quarterly basis we'd run through a fire drill actually I'm from California and growing up we have earthquakes drills where the alarms go off and you hide underneath your desk you put your hands because the ceilings go fall down from an earthquake and then and then we did we do the fire drills in every quarter I would make sure that the staff knew were go have a fire drill between this period of time and we'd run the fire drill and everybody knew were and we had a pretty well the system had was really well organized in the kids were out within 5 minutes and we time it knew who where but he was. And then we actually did active shooting drills What do you do with an active shooter Well you don't go out into the open you barricade yourself in the in the school classroom lock the doors put shades on the windows and everybody gets in hides that was the active shooter drill any of those examples When's the last time you've practiced any of those the church. That's is great that is fantastic. OK It's rare that I go to these meetings and anybody raises their hands. As a church so as a church congregation and from a pastoral standpoint we just don't do it we don't practice those things from a church and typically that's probably going to be there's probably go be more injuries caused by a stampede type of scenario or people hurting themselves getting over pews or under pews or whatever it is they need ever have because of the fire or because of the earthquake because no one ever practices where you go if there is a fire and we address risk management encourages all congregations and I think your conference presidents will also encourage it to that one Sabbath designated we designate I think it's the last Sabbath in March. To do to be what's called the safety Sabbath safety Sabbath Right right right I know my local church. That's fantastic that's fantastic I really. Now I think that screen I can tell you the church I go to suggest it's 87 F. F. in the in the apostles F. they don't even know it say the Sabbath is yes or. 4 for is it. Here's. Right what I would recommend depending on layout of futures I would call the 1st responders I call the fire department and I call the police because they're the people who call 911 government Z 911 come there or come I've never had I never experienced a scenario where the fire department or the police are not more than willing to come out to your particular church and walk you through a scenario and look at that and give him blueprints give him diagrams and they'll keep those on file and they'll recommend and they'll say look at if handy if you're a handicapped person in yours if you typically sit in this area if some were to come in more likely they're go come in this way we recommend you do this we recommend you would go there or or or. Have a designated person had the church board designate a particular person that if that. Person is truly handicapped and can't move themselves doesn't need a particular person a relative or someone else that their responsibility is going to get that person out of the building or hide it that's my recommendation that. I told you that I wasn't going to that I was go cover from a from a liability standpoint and not a moral standpoint but you know. They have in a sense and I believe that you can't you can't talk about this issue without addressing the moral part of it and I'm not here. To say one way or the other I'm not I'm not I'm not the my expert I'm not a theologian so I'm not here to say it but I think we do need to address and at least contemplate what are the moral issues of having a gun or using a gun and if you're a church that wants to or is considering. Use of a gun either either for or from internally or hiring outside these are questions that you simply have to ask yourself as a 7th Day Adventists is is as a church are you committed to the use of deadly force isn't that what you're going to use a gun for deadly force. You know well well well well if your church I am those of the C.S.U. right if your church goes armed doesn't normalize and sanctify violence the kids in the church that see in this Colorado I think of the kids that are sitting the pews in there surrounded by by 5 or 6 people there who have badges and guns that's their Sunday church that's their Sabbath What would our kids think of having. People walking up and down in the foyer packing a gun with a baton. And same Yeah I'm saying I'm not I'm not of the same though I think that those are issues that. How will the church respond should an innocent member be killed by friendly fire or injured by friendly fire those discussions that I think that. A shepherd sheep. Experiments flock. How does he take care how does he take care of it what way what method does he use to walk did you know that that the church has a position on assault weapons you know that the admin search you know the search. Every so often on on hot topics have guidelines or or other documents abortion they have a statement on abortion you did you know that they have a search on all kinds of issues that they have made a statement regards to the policy and it has to be voted on. I just recently realized that they had one on assault weapons and I thought I'd read it to you and will conclude with that and then I'll answer any more questions to you but it's untitled Bam Ansel's of assault weapons to civilians this is a church policy. Automatic or semi-automatic military style weapons are becoming increasingly available to civilians in some areas of the world it is relatively easy to acquire such guns they show up not only in the street but in the hands of youngsters at school many crimes are committed through the use of these kinds of weapons they are made to kill people they have no legitimate recreational use the teachings an example of Christ constitute the guide for the Christian today Christ came into the world to save lives not to destroy them the 956 when Peter drew his weapon Jesus said to him put your sword back in its place all who take the sword will die by the sword that the 26 to Jesus did not engage in violence the argument is made by some that banning assault weapons limits the rights of people in that guns do not commit crimes but people do while it is true that violence and criminal inclinations lead to guns it is also true that the availability of guns leads to violence the opportunity for civilians to acquire by purchase or otherwise automatic or semiautomatic assault weapons only increases the number of deaths resulting from human crimes. Possessions of guns by civilians in the United States has increased by an estimated 300 percent in the past 4 years during the same period there has been a staggering increase in armed attacks and resulting deaths in most of the world such weapons cannot be acquired by any legal means the church views with alarm the relative the relative ease with which they may be acquired in some areas their availability can only open the possibility of further tragedies. The pursuit of peace and preservation of life are to be the goals of Christians evil cannot be effectively met with evil but must be overcome with good. They haven't a swith other people of good will wish to cooperate in using every legitimate means of reducing and eliminating where possible the root causes of crime in addition with the public safety in the value of human life in mind the sale of automatic or semiautomatic assault weapons should be strictly prohibited or strictly controlled. This would reduce the use of weapons by mentally disturbed people in criminal criminals expression those involved in drug and gang activity. Its neighbors. With and. By the way did you have any idea when that was written. Sounds like it was of been written yesterday right. Yesterday this public statement released by the General Conference president Neil Wilson. Neil Wilson F. or consultation with the 16 world vice presidents the 7th Day Adventist Church on July 51991990 at the General Conference session in Indianapolis Indiana. That's a conclusion of my. Presentation. Go from there. And we just come before you this afternoon and again thank you for the blessings we thank you for the fact that the administration is concerned about their constituents and as a gentleman stated we're all shepherds where we may not be in the capacity of a pastor conference representative but we're shepherds of our family were shepherds of our members of our car geisha and we just want to act in that capacity in the way that not only honors you minimizes risks. Conference with face. In all the activities and all the issues that we face with on a local level at a local church so thank you for each one of these people that came here we thank you for the camp meeting and all those markets. That we have a great week rest on a season or news in this media was brought to you by audio for years a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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