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Sheriff backs proposal to allow guns in Maryland churches

House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga in 2017. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga in the 2017 session. (The Daily Record / Maximilian Franz)

EDGEWOOD — Following last month’s mass shooting at a church in Texas, a Maryland sheriff is asking state lawmakers to let parishioners bring their handguns to church.

News outlets report Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, House Minority Whip Kathy Szeliga and state Sen. Wayne Norman held a news conference Tuesday to introduce the Parishioner Protection Act of 2018, a proposal that would allow parishioners with a state handgun license and the written permission of church officials to carry handguns on church property. The parishioners would not need a concealed-carry permit.

The sheriff and two legislators are Republicans, and the proposal comes as the Democrats who lead the General assembly have proposed tightening the state’s gun laws.

Gahler says the legislation is the result of outreach from the faith-based community.