Senate votes 36-14 to pass Mississippi Church Protection Act

A police officer checks the purse of a parishioner as she arrives for the morning service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston June 21, 2015. | REUTERS / Carlo Allegri

The Senate has passed the Mississippi Church Protection Act which will allow security staff to carry concealed weapons in church and also nullify gun limits.

Sen. Hillman Frazier (D-Jackson), who is against the Mississippi Church Protection Act, quoted from the Bible and displayed a sheath sword while presenting his argument. For Frazier, the church must not be used to pass gun laws, The Clarion Ledger reports.

"We don't need to pimp the church for political purposes," said Frazier. "If you want to pass gun laws, do that, but don't use the church."

Sen. Sean Tindell (R-Gulfport), explained that the Mississippi Church Protection Act will give the church permission to have security personnel for protection. He cited the recent violent shootings at churches as a basis for the need of the conceal carry bill, the report relays.

During the debate, Sen. Hob Bryan (D-Amory) questioned Tindell's law background and asked if his law school taught that the Mississippi constitution is above federal law. He called Tindell's argument "embarrassing," and said the senator is wrong about the matter.

However, Tindell gained applause from other lawmakers when he responded positively to a question on whether the Mississippi constitution could challenge executive orders not passed by Congress, the report details.

The newly passed bill provides an expansion to a measure previously passed to allow concealed guns to be carried without a permit in a purse or briefcase, and another bill that allowed open carry in public. Not only that, the Church Protection Act will provide legal and criminal protection for the designated church sergeant-at-arms, ABC News details.

Moreover, the bill will prohibit authorities in Mississippi from enforcing any administrative or federal executive order that will go against the U.S. Constitution and the Mississippi constitution.

At the end of the arguments, the Senate voted 36-14 in favor of passing an amended version of House Bill 786 sponsored by Rep. Andy Gipson (R-Braxton). The bill is now headed back to the House to undergo further deliberation.