Churches arm, train congregants in wake of mass shootings

A niche industry is training congregants to protect their churches with the techniques and equipment of law enforcement.

While recent mass shootings occurred at a retail store in El Paso, Texas, and a downtown entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, they were still felt in houses of worship, which haven’t been immune to such attacks. And some churches have started protecting themselves with guns.

Not all security experts support the approach, but it has gained momentum among congregations.

Texas police officer David Riggall says more than 90 people at 18 churches have completed the training and become state-licensed guards through his company.

He says Sheepdog Defense Group insures and technically employs them. But they volunteer doing security at their own churches, which in turn pay Riggall.

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