A majority (62%) of Protestant churches in the U.S. now have active shooter plans, according to a LifeWay Research report published Jan. 28.
Nearly half (45%) of pastors say their congregations currently have armed members.
In addition, 23% report having armed private security and 6% uniformed police officers on their campus.
Other security measures include radio communication among security personnel (28%), policies that ban firearms in their buildings (27%) and metal detectors (3%).
Overall, 80% of pastors report some form of security, while only 18% of pastors reported having none of these security measures in place. The remaining 2% were unsure.
LifeWay surveyed both Protestant pastors and churchgoers, asking pastors to share their congregation’s security measures and inquiring whether churchgoers felt safer with armed security in place.
Congregants overwhelmingly reported feeling safer when a uniformed police officer or an armed private security person was on their campus, with 37% saying they felt “much more safe” and 35% “slightly more safe.”
Only 7% said they felt less safe under these circumstances, with 20% not sure how they felt.
The margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.2% for the pastors and 3.3% for churchgoers.