A gun-toting Kentucky pastor says it's OK to bring your weapon to church - at least for one day.

Ken Pagano asked his flock to bring their handguns - in holsters - to New Bethel Church in Louisville for an event celebrating the Second Amendment of the US Constitution which guarantees the right to bear arms.

As the event started on Saturday, about 40 people - many carrying small firearms - sat in the Pentecostal church sanctuary.

"We really didn't know what to expect as far as turnout," Pagano said before the service started. "I think we've got more media than anybody right now."

The pastor said high summer temperatures in Louisville may have been keeping church members at home.

Pagano says he got the idea after some members at the Pentecostal church expressed concern about the Obama administration's views on gun control, though the president hasn't moved to put new restrictions on gun ownership. He says the gathering is meant to promote safe gun ownership.

The "Open Carry Celebration" will include a handgun raffle, patriotic music and information on gun safety.

Pagano's Protestant church, which attracts up to 150 people to Sunday services, is a member of the Assemblies of God. It is in a conservative part of southwest Louisville.

A coalition of peace and church groups is staging a gun-free event across town at the same time.

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