Pistol-Packing Pastors Seek Concealed Carry Permits To Protect Their Flock

Two South Jersey pastors believe in the power of prayer, but also in taking matters into their own hands to ensure the safety of their congregations.

Pastor Kevin Bernat with New Life Assembly and Pastor Jeffrey Kovach with Calvary Bible Church realize that churches are a target-rich environment for any deranged gunman looking to wreak havoc. The two men have are in the middle of acquiring their concealed carry permits but have hit some roadblocks. Now, they’re reaching out to the New Jersey Second Amendment Society for help.

“As time goes by, I’m becoming more and more uncomfortable about the safety and security of the church,” said Kovach.

Kovach and Bernat separately reached out to NJ2AS President Alexander Roubain to express their concerns. Both pastors are trying to protect their flocks in a legal way, but the state is making their journey extremely difficult.

“New Jersey legislators do not want people to be able to carry a firearm and defend themselves,” said Roubain.

There are only about 1,600 approved concealed carry permits in New Jersey, and few of those are “regular citizens.” The process is not only lengthy, but also costly, requiring applicants to go through numerous hoops and hurdles like paying $550 for a psychological evaluation.

“They told me about their insane experiences in dealing with the New Jersey gun laws and how local authorities would make up rules which clearly violate [state] statutes,” said Roubain.

Bernat and Kovach were spurred into seeking an concealed carry permit after Charleston church shooting in South Carolina. Since then, both pastors have been looking for ways to better protect their church.

“Imagine that a criminal goes into a church while service is being conducted, starts stabbing and killing people, and the pastor should just call the police,” Roubain said. “If that is not the definition of insanity, then I do not know what is.”

(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Fred February 12, 2016, 10:43 am

    My church leaders recently approved carrying in church by cpl holding people. Now I pray we don’t ever have to use a firearm in church.

  • DG January 15, 2016, 11:15 am

    The sad part is that only law abiding citizens are prosecuted for firearm crimes. When criminals get caught with a gun, they are back on the streets the next day, even the same day at times. It seems as if the government only wants to stop the Law Abiding Citizens from having guns, and do nothing about the actual criminals that are committing the crimes!

  • JimT August 31, 2015, 1:53 pm

    Why would anyone want to live in New Jersey, California, or New York? I guess you people just like being defenseless targets.

  • Dan Ricxh August 31, 2015, 1:02 pm

    Wait??? Do you need a permit to carry a gun … concealed or not in your own home or private property, even in NJ? To carry off of Church grounds yes, but on church property I do not think they need a CCW.

  • Mick Dodge August 31, 2015, 7:40 am

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition
    Oh hells bells…

  • DRAINO August 28, 2015, 7:49 am

    Wait…..Isn’t Chris Christie from Jersey???? And he wants to be our president after failing the people of Jersey by making it difficult for them to legally protect themselves???? Inaction is just a guilty as taking the wrong action when you are a leader.

    • Ak August 31, 2015, 9:11 am

      I think there are better choices for president than Chris Christie. But to blame him for a situation that existed long before he was born is pure ignorance. Several people have fallen afoul of the stupidity of New Jersey gun laws and Christie has granted them clemency from the draconian punishments levied, calling the situation intolerable. Until Jerseyites elect him king of the state, its the best he can do, and a lot better than other governors who view gun owners as fresh meat for their leftist political base.

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