A US judge has blocked a New York State gun law that bans firearms in houses of worship.
State lawmakers passed the legislation after the US Supreme Court invalidated an old system of granting permits to carry handguns outside the home.
The federal judge issued an order to stop the ban on guns in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples.
Churches also filed a lawsuit against it despite concerns about their security.
Their complaint claimed the state was disregarding Supreme Court decisions that found the ban violated people’s First and Second Amendment rights.
Lawyers from First Liberty argued that singling out houses of worship for total disarmament demonstrated hostility toward religion.
The Christian Post reports the lawyers said churches were left defenceless to rebuff violent attacks.
They added that religious leaders are just as qualified as secular business owners to decide whether they need guns for self-defence.