What does the UMC say about preventing gun violence?

Close to 200 people gather for a candlelight vigil Jan. 24 at Nuevo Pacto United Methodist Church in Sebring, Fla., in memory of Marisol Lopez. Photo by Juan A. Maldonado for UMNS.
Close to 200 people gather for a candlelight vigil Jan. 24 at Nuevo Pacto United Methodist Church in Sebring, Fla., in memory of Marisol Lopez. Photo by Juan A. Maldonado for UMNS.

The prophet Micah casts a hopeful vision of the future where nations will “beat their swords into iron plows, and their spears into pruning hooks.” (Micah 4:3) Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9)

Gun violence greatly affects individuals, families and communities. We believe "As followers of Jesus, called to live into the reality of God’s dream of shalom as described by Micah, we must address the epidemic of gun violence so 'that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in God’s paths.'” 

The United Methodist Church calls congregations to address gun violence locally through prayer, conversation, support for those affected by gun violence, practicing and teaching gun safety and partnering with law enforcement to help prevent gun violence.  

The church also urges congregations to advocate for laws that prevent or reduce gun violence, such as:

  • Universal background checks on all gun purchases
  • Ensuring all guns are sold through licensed gun retailers
  • Prohibiting gun purchases for those under restraining order due to threat of violence and those with serious mental illness who pose a danger to themselves and their communities  
  • Ensuring greater access to services for those with mental illness
  • Establishing a minimum age of 21 years for a gun purchase or possession
  • Banning large capacity ammunition magazines and weapons
  • Promoting new technologies to aid law-enforcement agencies to trace crime guns and promote public safety

 

Have questions? Ask The UMC or talk with a pastor near you. And check out other recent Q&As.

This content was produced by Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications.