The Executive Council of the Episcopal Church begins a three-day meeting today at the Maritime Institute near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Among the items on its agenda is a proposed resolution on gun violence.
While the resolution that emerges may touch on many aspects of the debate over how to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in our country, a clause that supports making gun trafficking a federal crime would have the most immediate impact.
Currently the Episcopal Church cannot join broad interfaith movements such as Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence because neither General Convention nor Executive Council has approved legislation on gun trafficking. Executive Council can change that.
Faiths United is pursuing a three point agenda:
Universal Background Checks
Universal background checks via the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) should be utilized in every gun sale, including guns sold online, at gun shows, and through private sales.
Ban High-Capacity Weapons and Ammo Clips
There is no legitimate self-defense or sporting purpose for these military-style, high-capacity weapons and magazines. They are, however, the weapons of choice for those who want to shoot and kill a large amount of people quickly.
Gun trafficking should be made a federal crime
Currently, prosecutions only happen through a law that prohibits selling guns without a federal license, which carries the same punishment as trafficking chicken or livestock.
What are your thoughts on the best ways to reduce gun violence?