Bishops Against Gun Violence urges our cities, states and nation to adapt policies and pass legislation that will reduce the number of Americans killed and wounded by gunfire.
In the six states that have had effective gun violence prevention laws in place for decades: homicides are down, suicides are down, and deaths due to domestic violence are down. We know these laws work. Now, we need to spread the word.
A wealth of resources (prayers, sample sermons, hymns and event ideas) for your gun violence prevention service… and more.
“We will no longer be silent while violence permeates our world, our society, our Church, our homes and ourselves. Our faith calls us to be ministers of reconciliation, to give voice to the voiceless and to strive for justice in the name of our Lord.”Bishops Ian T. Douglas, James E. Curry and Laura J. Ahrens of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut
Who We Are
We are an ad hoc group of nearly 60 Episcopal bishops who have come together to explore means of reducing the appalling levels of gun violence in our society, and to advocate for policies and legislation that save lives.
Our group is convened by Bishops Mark Beckwith of the Diocese of Newark, Ian Douglas of the Diocese of Connecticut and Eugene Sutton of the Diocese of Maryland, and includes nearly 60 bishops from across the Episcopal Church.
What We Want
We urge our cities, states and nation to adopt policies and pass legislation that will reduce the number of Americans killed and wounded by gunfire. These include:
- Expanding the federal background checks system to cover gun shows, internet and commercial sales
- Making gun trafficking a federal crime
- Encouraging the development of “smart gun” technology to reduce accidental shootings—especially among children
- Requiring that guns be stored safely
- Improving access to mental healthcare for all Americans.
What We Do
- Forming relationships and coalitions with interfaith colleagues, fellow advocates, and families whose lives have been touched by gun violence;
- Giving voice to voiceless gun violence victims through public liturgy, advocacy, and prayer; and
- Supporting one another in our efforts to end gun violence in our communities.
In states where background checks are required for the purchase of a handgun, we’ve seen a reduction in gun violence across all categories. Compared with states that do not have a background check requirement, here is how they fare:
- Fewer women shot to death by intimate partner 38%
- Fewer suicides with a gun 49%
- Fewer police murdered by a handgun that was not their own 39%
- Fewer “crime guns” exported to other states 64%