This other question mentions a harm threshold above which an offender's participation counts as "serious". The examples given include

  • defacing more than 10 postage stamps in a 48 hour period
  • possessing more than 2 unregistered machine guns

Actually both of these are sort of interesting to me, but for different reasons.

(Note: commenters brought out that these are hypothetical examples, not to be taken as representative of actual rules.)

The question I would like to ask though is about owning guns that are not used for hunting or for protecting against wild animals, such as is the case with machine guns.

What is the LDS Church viewpoint about a baptized member owning machine guns? Does that affect the members standing in the congregation?

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    Uhm, they where mentioning a harm threshold in a hypothetical sense. As far as I know, no such threshold actually exists (at least as a strict guideline). Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 2:41
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    Are you aiming your question at a particular LDS celebrity talk show guy🔫
    – Kristopher
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 12:55
  • hi @Kris, not so much, this question was solely inspired by reading that other question.
    – x457812
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 16:03
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    @x457812 ok I was listening to beck recently and he was talking about how difficult and expensive it is to acquire a fully automatic ( machine gun) weapon. But he has at least one in his collection.
    – Kristopher
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 17:16
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    I must agree with @PyRulez. The Q you linked to did not present the bulleted list as a factual list of thresholds, but as a series of hypothetical examples in support of his Q What will be of interest (and is similar to your Q) is what the Church says about Marijuana use in states that pass laws contrary to the federal law that says it's illegal in all states. When/if that announcement comes out, I suspect it will support the federal law by virtue of our 12th article of faith (but not wanting to get into the states-rights argument might be the reason the Church hasn't posted a notice yet).
    – JBH
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 19:04

2 Answers 2


As far as I know, there is no moral objection to Church members owning weapons of any type. Self defense and the defense of one's family and freedom of religion are explicitly approved, and on occasion mandated, in both the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. However, members are also instructed to obey the law of the land, so if there are legal restrictions on the number or types of weapons that may be privately owned, the members should observe them.* Unless their conduct becomes a criminal offense, it would not affect their church standing.

*This article for example talks about what one must do to legally own a machine gun in the USA.

  • One thing to note is that guns are generally not allowed at church itself. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 16:44
  • True, but that wasn't part of the question.
    – Confutus
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 16:52
  • yeah, I was just thinking it was helpful to note. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 16:53
  • @PyRulez Why would you bring a gun to church?
    – ShemSeger
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 22:00
  • @ShemSeger well, you might be helping the boy scouts get their rifle shooting merit badge, for example. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 22:02

Owning a gun of any kind is not a sin. sinful usage of a gun would be wrong, such as murder.

Also, the 12th article of Faith written by Joseph Smith states:

12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.


I'm not an expert on gun laws of every country, but I'm pretty sure "machine guns" are illegal in most countries I'm aware of under most circumstances. So in that case, yes the Church would be against its members having machine guns.

What you're referencing mentions unregistered machine guns, thus implying unlawful.

  • thank you for your answer @user15674. The text I referenced said "more than 2 unregistered machine guns" and that implied that owning just 1 or 2 unregistered machine guns might be just OK. Thus the question. Also I live in USA where it is, at least in some states, legal for a private individual to purchase a machine gun. There's for example this "Yes, you can buy a machine gun in Nevada" article here on USAToday.
    – x457812
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 15:25

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