Urge Congress to Pass the Assault Weapon Ban to Save Lives

Support Gun Violence Prevention Now

As of July 2022, our nation has been traumatized by 617 mass shootings. Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has released a number of statements as these shootings have continually unfolded in places like Smithsburg, MD, Uvalde, TX, Buffalo, NY, Charlottesville, VA, Colorado Springs, CO, and Chesapeake, VA. We mourn, grieve and pray for those who have lost their lives and now we must engage in concrete actions to stop preventable gun violence.  

What Does the Church Say?

As United Methodists, we follow Jesus who commissions us to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9 NRSV). This identity holds us in relationship with God and echoes God’s dream for peace for all people so that there is no need to live in fear of violence (Micah 4:2-4 NSRV).

Scripture passages like that in Micah 4:2-4 inspire our 2016 United Methodist Resolution to end gun violence, which lifts up the understanding that violence, in so many ways, is fueled by a culture of misplaced fear and a distorted desire for self-preservation.

The biblical “swords” and “spears” in the Bible today take the form of gun violence. Random mass murders are committed by enraged and distraught individuals; persons use guns to kill and terrorize others who are culturally, ethnically, racially, and socially different; guns are used in hate crimes aimed at terrorizing entire groups; domestic and intimate partner aggression and other crimes are complicated by access to guns; and tragically, suicide and self-harm are further escalated because of access to guns.

Unaddressed gun violence escalates every other form of violence in our families and neighborhoods.

Congregations Called to Take Action

Bishop LaTrelle Easterling has said “The United Methodist Social Principles call for a ban on large capacity ammunition magazines and weapons designed to fire multiple rounds each time the trigger is pulled. “There is no legitimate need for or inherent right to bear such weapons.”

Ask Congress to pass the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (S. 736) by filling out the letter form to the right of the page. Your letter will be sent to your Senators and the White House asking that they support the Assault Weapons Ban.

AR-15 style rifles were used in 11 mass shootings since 2012, most recently being in Boulder, Colorado and Uvalde, Texas.

  • While other types of guns have been used in past shootings, AR-15 style rifles are known for their ability to automatically reload and lack of recoil, making it easier for a shooter to take multiple targeted shots.

  • AR-15 style firearms are the weapon of choice for shooters looking to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible and have been used in the deadliest mass shootings in our history, from Sandy Hook to Parkland to Uvalde.

The Assault Weapon Ban of 2021 (S. 736) would ban the sale, import, manufacture or transfer of certain semi-automatic weapons. This will make it illegal to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess a semi-automatic assault weapon (SAW) or any large-capacity ammunition feeding device (LCAFD). It would make it unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, or transfer the following: All semi-automatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that can accept a detachable magazine and have at least one of the following military features: pistols or forward grip; folding, telescoping, or detachable stock, ability to accept a detachable magazine, or as otherwise defined in the bill.

As a matter of conscience and faith tell Congress and the President that you support The Assault Weapon Ban of 2021 (S. 736) and we recommit ourselves to stand against the epidemic of gun violence so that weapons of terror will not take the life of one more precious child of God.

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