Words from Our Bishops

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...

Closing Loopholes Close to Home

In May, news reports indicated that a gun sold through a false buyer in Maine had been implicated in the murder of Sean A. Collier, an MIT security officer, and the wounding of Richard H. Donohue Jr. of the MBTA by one of the alleged perpetrators of the Boston...

Signs from the Times

“Stop the Violence. We have kids here. Think before you shoot.” Those words are on a handmade sign on the front door of a home in Springfield, Massachusetts. A few days after I saw that sign, I went to the island of Iona in Scotland for a retreat and saw a different...

Working with Youth to Challenge Violence

Many teenagers in our churches (and their friends) are the direct victims of violence or have been touched by violence in their families, neighborhoods, and communities. They are asking what can we do to challenge the violence that grips our societies, and, like many...

A Lot of Work to Do

Since the beginning of our conversations as Bishops United Against Gun Violence, in December 2012, we have organized a web site and Facebook page. We have planned and carried a Stations of the Cross procession in Washington DC, on the Monday in Holy Week 2013. We have...

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%