Reducing Gun Violence – Fact 5

“Americans are up to 25 times more likely to be killed by gun homicide than people in other high income, well educated countries including: France, Canada, Italy, Germany, Australia, Spain, England, and Japan.”

As part of its mission to engage the congregation in positive actions to reduce gun violence, the  Birmingham and Berkley First Gun Violence Reduction (GVR) Team is committed to informing the two congregations about the scope and impact of gun violence in America. One of the many ways to share information will be a weekly “did you know” gun violence fact presented on the church’s website.

The GVR Team will also post on the website upcoming activities designed to share and discuss gun violence information and to offer opportunities for members of our congregation to participate in activities intended to reduce gun violence.

If you would like to learn more about the gun violence reduction effort, please contact one of the GVR team members: Rich Teets; Dick Dills; Carol Driscoll; Susan Rieth; Lisabeth Conger and Frank Driscoll.

The United Methodist Church
General Board of Church & Society

In response to the ever-increasing levels of gun violence and gun related deaths, the General Board of Church & Society, on behalf of the United Methodist Church (UMC), has developed the following principles upon which UMC congregations are encouraged to advocate for the reduction of gun violence.

  •  Universal background checks on all gun purchases.
  • Ensure all guns are sold through licensed retailers.
  • Require certified gun safety training for all first time gun buyers.
  • Develop and apply “safe storage” requirements for firearms.
  • Prohibit gun purchases by all individuals under restraining order due to threat of violence.
  • Prohibit persons with serious mental illness, who pose a danger to themselves and their communities, from purchasing a gun (Red Flag Laws).
  • Ensure greater access to services for those who have a mental illness.
  • Establish a minimum eligibility age of 21 years for a gun purchase/possession.
  • Ban large capacity ammunition magazines and weapons designed to fire multiple rounds each time the trigger is pulled.
  • Promote “safe” gun technologies.
  • Promote gun tracing technologies as an aid to law enforcement in tracing firearms used in a crime.
  • Prohibit guns in public places such as schools, churches, airports and elsewhere
  • Engage local church congregations in gun violence advocacy.

United Methodist Church General Board of Church & Society

Birmingham First’s Church & Society Ministry (C&S) has formally adopted these principles as a call to action and engagement and is committed to providing our congregation with opportunities to discuss and explore gun violence in America and to advocate for its reduction.  Gun violence activity will begin this fall and will then be ongoing.

The Church & Society Ministry is dedicated to the work of living out our faith in our community by touching the lives of our neighbors in need and seeking justice for the marginalized among us. We are a ministry committed to the pursuit of social justice through action and engagement. The work of the ministry is ever evolving to meet social  needs that are urgent and to fight injustice where we find it. C&S is about having an impact for good.