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Faith Leaders Called to Action

Faith Leaders from around St. Louis Hold a Press Conference to Support Gun Safety Laws.

On May 26, 2022 at exactly 11:32a, Faith leaders from around St. Louis gathered for a press conference on gun safety measures. The press conference took place at New Horizon Methodist Church (formerly Good Samaritan UMC) located at 4234 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, MO. The 11:32 a.m. start time is a purposeful reminder of the most recent gun violence in Texas.

Within the United Methodist Church, the Book of Resolutions calls congregations to “advocate at the local and national level for laws that prevent or reduce gun violence.” This includes supporting important bills like H.R.8, that passed the House of Representatives on March 11, 2021, by a bipartisan vote of 227 to 203, with eight Republicans voting in favor and one Democrat against. It has not yet been subject to a Senate vote. Participating UMC Clergy are standing together with leaders of other denominations in support of this bill, demonstrating unity across multiple faiths.

Rev. Andy Bryan explains, “We, as faith leaders, are calling for legislation to be passed that will help reduce gun violence in our city, in our state, and in our nation. The endless cycle of violence must be interrupted; we have to go “off script” if we are going to actually alleviate the harm being inflicted upon the people of our communities. We know that it will require a combined effort of faith groups, community organizations, and government entities to even make a dent in the issue.”

So far this year, according to Post Dispatch, there have been 47 children who have been injured or killed by gunfire across the St. Louis metropolitan area in 2022. Eight children have tragically lost their lives. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department reports that as of May 24, 2022, there have been 81 homicides where a firearm was used.

Additional press conferences were held by United Methodist Clergy and other faith denominations from across Missouri to advocate for the passing of H.R.8. Congregations of all denominations, as followers of their faiths, are finding ways to make preventing gun violence apart of everyday conversations.

This press conference generated interested from multiple media outlets, who covered the story of this multi-denominational unified front. Media covered of the event, as well as the full recording of the press conference can be found below:

Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 (HR8)

This bill establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals).

Specifically, it prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.

The prohibition does not apply to certain firearm transfers or exchanges, such as a gift between spouses in good faith. You can learn more about HR8.

Support HR8

Manchester UMC clergy have spoken out in favor of the passing of HR8. If you feel called to take action on this piece of legislation, you can download a pre-drafted letter to mail to Missouri’s Senators.

Letter to Senators
Postcard to Senators
Senator Addresses

Roy Blunt
Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse
111 South 10th Street
Suite 23.305
St. Louis MO 63102

Josh Hawley
111 South 10th Street
Suite 23.360
St. Louis MO 63102

Get Involved

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