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For week ended October 10, 1999 Posted 10 Oct 1999

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LDS mum on gun petition

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS mum on gun petition
Deseret News 7Oct99 N1
By Jennifer Toomer-Cook: Deseret News staff writer

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Backers of the petition drive for a law to ban weapons from churches and schools believe that the LDS Church supports their cause, but have been disappointed that the Church has not taken a position on the drive. In the wake of the shooting at the LDS Church's Family History Center in Salt Lake City, President Gordon B. Hinckley and other General Authorities made several statements about guns, and the group has been given permission by Elder Alexander B. Morrison of the First Quorum of the Seventy to use those public statements.

In a statement released to the Deseret News, the Church sought to clarify the situation, "Elder Morrison agreed that the PTA was welcome to use pertinent public statements made by church leaders. However, he also explained that the church would not take a position on the petition because its views had already been made known."

Leaders in the Utah House of Representatives now say that the group is misconstruing the official statments and portraying them as an endorse- ment. "If the church lobbies for something, generally you can consider it to be done. This has been a whole different situation," said UEA President Phyllis Sorensen.

The petition, which would be on the November 2000 ballot, is backed by the Utah PTA, State Board of Regents, State Board of Education, the Salt Lake City Police Department, local Episcopal and Catholic churches and others. It seeks to outlaw all concealed weapons in churches and schools except when concealed weapons permit holders bring children to and from school or secure their firearms in a locked car. Police are exempt.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information