The bill’s supporters said the measure could help prevent an attack similar to the June 2015 massacre in a Charleston, South Carolina, church that left nine members dead.
One opponent of the bill, State Sen. Hillman Frazier, pulled out a sword during a debate in the Mississippi Capitol on Tuesday, citing a biblical story about a disciple cutting off a servant’s ear.
“We don’t need to pimp out the church for political purposes,” Frazier said, according to local NBC affiliate WLBT. “If you want to pass laws to liberalize gun laws, do that. But don’t use the church to do that.”
Sen. Sean Tindell, a supporter, said the bill would only give churches the option to create a security force.