Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed into law a bill allowing guns in churches and expanding permitless carry on Friday despite strong opposition by gun control advocates.

The “Mississippi Church Protection Act,” or House Bill 786, was approved by the Mississippi House last week by a majority vote.

The law allows any church or place of worship to create a security program that would permit certain members to carry firearms to protect congregation members. It also expands permitless carry, also known as constitutional carry, to belt and shoulder holsters.

“The governing body of any church or place of worship may establish a security program by which designated members are authorized to carry firearms for the protection of the congregation of such church or place of worship, including resisting any unlawful attempt to kill a member(s) or attendee(s) of such church or place of worship, or to commit any felony upon any such member or attendee in the church or place of worship or in the immediate premises thereof,” the new law states.

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