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Active Shooter in a House of Worship

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This publication provides information to religious leaders of houses of worship and religious schools with steps that they can take to protect their congregations.
This publication presents information in response to recent gun violence in places of worship by providing religious leaders with information on what steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood and the impact of an active shooter in a house of worship, religious school or other religious events, sites or facilities. This emerging need poses a challenge to religious leaders who want to provide safety without sacrificing the welcoming atmosphere of their houses of worship. Mitigating active shooter events is a very complex and difficult procedure, something that isn't always possible. This type of crisis can occur at any time, for example, during worship, congregational events or regular business hours. The best course of action to protect and prepare a congregation is to develop and practice an Emergency Action Plan (EAP). Topics discussed include: mitigation and prevention; ways to prepare for active shooter situation; components of an EAP; components of training exercises; proper conduct during an active shooter crisis and what to do when law enforcement arrives; and congressional recovery. Resources for further information and training are provided.