AUSTIN March 13, 2020 - Attorney General Ken Paxton today launched a webpage containing educational materials and resources for volunteer security teams to legally and effectively protect houses of worship. The webpage at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/houses-worship details Texans’ constitutional rights, necessary laws and licenses related to carrying firearms, and training resources for security volunteers in houses of worship.
“As we recently witnessed in the heroic actions of Jack Wilson during the White Settlement Church shooting, volunteer security at houses of worship can provide immediate, life-saving responses that protect worshipers in dangerous situations,” said Attorney General Paxton. “Nobody should fear for their life while attending a worship service. With this easily accessible webpage, the brave men and women who make up volunteer security teams across the state can be equipped with the information and resources they need to protect their communities.”
Texas law allows churches, synagogues, and other established places of worship to establish security teams without obtaining a license or permission from the state, if the volunteer security team members are:
- unpaid volunteers;
- providing services on the premises of the place of worship;
- not wearing a badge or uniform that identifies them as security or creates the impression that they are law enforcement officers or personal protection officers.
In addition to clear descriptions of the law, the new webpage also features pathways to security training programs and grant funding opportunities that empower volunteer security teams to protect worshipers from any potential threat.