Gun Violence Prevention

Your Congregation Can Prevent Gun Violence

And we can help. PPF's Congregational Toolkit for Gun Violence Prevention is a wealth of resources for conversation, study, and organizing.

PC(USA) Policy on Gun Violence

The 219th General Assembly (2010) unanimously approved this ground-breaking report, Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call. Click here to download the full report (pdf)  

Our Partner: Heeding God's Call

Heeding God's Call is a new and growing grassroots movement that focuses on organizing faith communities to take concrete actions that make a real difference in reducing gun violence in communities:

Handguns reach streets and neighborhoods through a highly developed illegal trade – gun trafficking. These are the guns used to threaten, wound, maim and kill. The linchpins of gun trafficking are criminal entrepreneurs, traffickers, the straw buyers who stand in for them to make their bulk purchases and gun dealers who look the other way and enjoy the profits. Heeding God’s Call helps faith communities organize to publicly pressure local gun stores to adopt a set of practices to deter straw purchasing.

 

The Hidden Life of Guns

Powerful investigative reporting by the Washington Post describing the practice of straw purchasing and how guns move from gun stores into the illegal market, oftentimes very quickly, in Maryland and Virginia. Click here to read more  

The Numbers

Here are a few reasons why we are particularly concerned about gun violence in the U.S.:

  • 80 people die every day from guns in the United States, 10 of these are children.(National Center for Health Statistics)
  • The US rate of firearms deaths for children under fifteen is twelve times higher than 25 other industrialized countries combined. (International Journal of Epidemiology
  • 30,000 Americans die from guns every year in the US. In three years of War in Iraq, 1700 American servicemen and women have been killed. In the same period of time, 90,000 Americans have died from guns on our own streets. (NCHS)
  • Since 1933, when statistics were first kept, more Americans have been killed through gun violence in "peacetime" than have been killed in all of our nation's wars since 1776. (US Dept. of Defense and The World Almanac)
  • The family handgun purchased for protection, is 22 times more likely to be used against a family member or friend than to stop an intruder. (FBI)
  • 40% of gun owners keep their guns loaded, unlocked, and stored near ammunition.
  • No government agency is allowed to impose minimum design and safety standards on domestically manufactured firearms. Toy guns and teddy bears are more regulated than American-made guns.
  • Nationwide, in gun shows, unlicensed sellers can peddle arms to unknown persons with no questions asked.
  • 70% of Americans, including NRA members, 2-1, favor stricter laws and regulations on the sale and ownership of handguns and assault weapons.(Nat'l Opinion Research Center, Univ. of Chicago)