Washington, July 8 (IANS) Louisiana's Indian-American Republican governor Bobby Jindal has signed a controversial law allowing holders of concealed-weapon permits to carry guns into houses of worship.
The bill, signed Tuesday night, allows permit holders who take an additional eight hours of tactical training each year to bring a gun into "any church, synagogue, mosque or other similar place of worship".
The bill, sponsored by Republican state Representative Henry Burns, also requires that the head of the house of worship announce either verbally or in a weekly newsletter to the congregation that its members may be carrying weapons.
Supporters of the measure said it can be a deterrent against criminal activity in church and will give an option to ministers and pastors to incorporate concealed handguns into their security plans.
Opponents argued it's inappropriate to have concealed handguns in churches.
Burns's original bill was killed by a Senate committee, but he was able to revive the proposal by tacking it onto another bill, which extended the length of concealed weapons permits from four years to five years at an annual cost of $25.
The bill will go into effect Aug 15.
Jindal has not commented on the bill, which was signed along with 940 others the state legislature sent him during the most recent session.