The law also permits churches to place a restriction where the law does not. From the AP article:
The law allows concealed handguns in churches, synagogues or mosques for those with a valid permit and training. It also says those with authority over a church have the final say in their church.
This actually strikes me as exactly the right balance for a government with no ecclesiastical ties. Why? The principle of subsidiarity.
Here is how the Catechism describes subsidiarity:
The teaching of the Church has elaborated the principle of subsidiarity, according to which "a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to co-ordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good."(Centissimus Annus, 48)
The principle of subsidiarity is opposed to all forms of collectivism. It sets limits for state intervention. It aims at harmonizing the relationships between individuals and societies. It tends toward the establishment of true international order.
In other words, the State (in this case, Louisiana and the United States of America,) has no right to intervene beyond its own limits; for example, under the roof of a church. So, while adjudicating the civil right to keep and bear arms does indeed fall under the authority of the State, this authority holds only for the public sphere.
I would expect a court to uphold my right, for example, to forbid concealed weapons within my own residence, for example.
But setting "limits for state intervention" is merely one of the effects of subsidiarity; it is not its purpose. The purpose of subsidiarity is to keep different kinds of authority, and different levels of authority within those different kinds, in good order. Subsidiarity applies to families and corporations just as much as it does to governments.
(This, by the way, is what Deal Hudson gets wrong in his article at InsideCatholic. He seems to conflate subsidiarity and privatization. A private collectivism is just as inhumane as a public one. Not that I want to critique Gov. Christie - I don't know the man from Adam, so I'm in no place to judge. But Hudson's argument, at best, lacks sufficient proof.)
Keeping the different kinds of authority distinct and in orderly relationship with each other is a trick. It's true that a person owes very different kinds of allegiance to (for example) his parents, his boss, and his government. Sometimes, these authorities come into conflict, and sometimes they seem to overlap. (Another example: parents and government both have legitimate reasons to set educational standards.) And this is where subsidiarity helps out: the "lower" and more local authorities are the ones with direct authority; "higher" and more general authorities exist in order to support the work of the lower authorities.
So, in the example of education, the government's proper role is to support the parents, who are the ones who have primary and final authority over the education of their children.
And this brings me ever so tangentially to the purpose of this blog: the promotion of human dignity. There have been many arguments over capital punishment in the comments here. But it is subsidiarity the allows us to see clearly the Church's teaching.
The Church, after all, is a most general authority: she speaks to the nature of human life in the light of God's revelation. Her authority extends to those things that we all hold in common as creatures of God, saved through the blood of his Son, and called to perfect union with him. Therefore, the way she usually exercises her authority is through teaching and admonition.
The State has a very practical and concrete authority: it is charged with the preservation and promotion of the common good of a particular society (for example, Utah or Louisiana). It exercises its authority by promulgating laws and then enforcing those laws.
The Church has no authority over the State with regard to the on-the-ground decisions of how to enforce law and order. But the Church does have authority to teach and admonish the State (and it's legislators and agents) on the nature of human society and the nature of law and order.
So, the Church identifies capital punishment as a way that the State has legitimately exercised its authority in the past; but she also recognizes that (as with everything in this world shattered by original sin) capital punishment is not the ideal way to achieve order and good in human society. Therefore, she admonishes the State to be wary in using capital punishment - perhaps even to forgo it altogether - lest the cure become worse than the original illness. She shines the light of God's divinely revealed mercy on a justice that is so easily tempted by vengeance.
And yet, she does not declare that capital punishment is a sin. She notes that it is not irredeemably evil (as, for example, torture is). Rather, she exercises her own authority, in teaching and admonishing, in support of the State's exercise of it's proper authority.
Sorry about the long-windedness, but sometimes that's the only way for me to work through the muddiness to clarity.