After years of discouraging the practice, Mormon leaders have moved to ban lethal weapons, such as firearms, outright from their churches.

The act had previously been referred to as “inappropriate” by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but now in the wake of heightening sensitivity towards gun violence, the church is moving towards more concrete rules. An exception is still in place for police officers and other law enforcement officials.

“Churches are dedicated for the worship of God and as havens from the cares and concerns of the world,” the new policy reads. “With the exception of current law enforcement officers, the carrying of lethal weapons on church property, concealed or otherwise, is prohibited.”

According to the Associated Press, this new rule began in the first week of August when a letter was sent to church leaders in Texas, who promptly began sharing it with members.

Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff told the AP that the same letter will be sent leaders in other states. As the handbook where these rules are explained is not commonly read by churchgoers, it will be up to the leaders to spread the word on the new policy.

This new ruling comes one year after a July 2018 fatal shooting at a Mormon church in rural Fallon, Nevada, as well as on the heels of recent mass shootings that have put pressure on governments and institutions to address the issues.

The leaders in Texas were informed first as their state will soon be enacting legislation to confirm that licensed owners are allowed to bring handguns to churches, synagogues, and other places of worship.

In this representational image, a Mormon holds a copy of The Book of Mormon during an interview with Reuters at the missionary training center of the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at the Aragon neighborhood in Mexico City, Feb. 23, 2012. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo