Armed with a sheathed sword and scripture, Mississippi Sen. Hillman Frazier (D) scolded his colleagues on Tuesday morning.
Supporters of the Mississippi Church Protection Act, which lets places of worship appoint members to serve as armed security for congregants, were using religion as a shield for an expansion of gun rights, he said.
“We don’t need to pimp the church for political purposes,” he said before the chamber, according to the Clarion-Ledger. “If you want to pass a bill liberalizing gun laws, then do that. Don’t use the church.”
But Sen. Sean Tindell (R) defended the bill, citing violence at religious institutions and a congregation’s need to defend itself.
“The self-defense of these churches is a God-given right,” Tindell said, according to the Associated Press.