Words from Our Bishops

It’s how you ask the question!

On December 10, 2014, just before the second anniversary of the horrific shootings at Newtown Elementary School, Pew Research Center released the results of its most recent survey of gun attitudes in the United States. The Pew headline read “Growing Public Support for...

The Cost of Gun Violence

So much has eloquently been written, here and elsewhere, about the ripple effect of gun violence and its human cost. We can intuit this reality, although we often do not make the true connection and experience the deepest sort of grief about it until it comes directly...

Guns and Domestic Violence Can’t be Separated

Last October former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords spoke briefly at the University of Southern Maine on a subject she knows so much about. There at the invitation of the Maine Coalition To End Domestic Violence, Giffords told the group of community leaders, “Dangerous...

Beyond Acting Locally

Addressing the scourge of gun violence in our country requires that we work hard to create new ways to bridge our historic divisions of race, ethnicity, class, and place. I live in West Hartford, Connecticut. The Town of West Hartford voted to separate from the City...

Our Commitment to Finding Common Ground

In her 2010 book, The New Jim Crow, attorney and author Michelle Alexander makes the case that the 1980s war on drugs was really a war on young black men.  "Three strikes and you're out" was the strident rallying cry of the day; and laws were configured and prison...

Gun violence outside the United States

The ministry of Bishops Against Gun Violence in The Episcopal Church is not confined to America. Firearm use in murders is widespread, and we all must respond to it. The shocking murder of the sister of the Bishop of Honduras, Natalie Lloyd, among other cases, proves...

The NRA holds US gun policy hostage

As a young boy, I went to camp where marksmanship was a daily activity. We shot 22s and worked to earn NRA qualification badges. In high school, I participated in JROTC where, again, marksmanship was a regular activity. I have owned a handgun and rifle. Though not a...

Upstream of Marysville

There is an old fable about a raging river, filled with drowning babies. There are several people risking their lives to jump in and save any they can. The babies just seem to keep coming and coming. As one man walks upon this scene the other rescuers beg him to join...

Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases

Bishops United Against Gun Violence Briefing Paper (Download a PDF) Introduction Bishops United Against Gun Violence (BUAGV) is a voluntary network of over fifty active and retired bishops of The Episcopal Church. Initially formed in the wake of the August 2012...

The Evidence

Background Checks Save Lives…

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 an 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%

Interactive Map on Gun Trafficking

Follow the movement of crime guns in America by clicking a state

What happens when you repeal your handgun licensing law?

New research by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health shows that the repeal of Missouri’s permit-to-purchase requirement (required a background check to receive a permit) resulted in an additional 55 to 63 murders per year between 2008 and 2012, an overall increase in murder by gunfire of 23%. Read the full release.

  • Increase in Missouri’s murder-by-gunfire rate after the repeal of their background check law 23%