Kentucky's clergy can legally carry concealed weapons on church grounds.
Since 1996, Kentucky gun owners with the proper permit have been allowed to carry weapons hidden from view. The law, however, excluded guns in churches. That is, until an amendment championed by Willie Ramsey was passed, favoring men and women of the cloth.Ramsey, a minister at the Somerset Church of Christ, says churches are a target for criminals. "We don't want the Lord's money lost," he says.
Critics say the Lord would never have had a gun around him, but Ramsey notes that "his apostles had swords. Don't you suppose they were for self-defense?"
And he quotes Luke 22:36: "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one."
Though Ramsey's church has never been robbed, he has seen others fall victim, including nine in Somerset since 1996. Police Chief Ray White calls most incidents are nuisance crimes committed by juveniles without weapons.
"This is a nice, quiet community," he says. "Even I don't carry a gun in church."