Proposer of Resolution: The Vestry of St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery

The Gun Safety Sentence Adopted at Diocesan Convention

On November 11, 2017 at the New York Diocesan Convention, The Vestry of St. Mark’s In The Bowery proposed a resolution on a “Gun Safety Sentence,” which passed unanimously. St. Mark’s wishes to thank Claudia Conner for her leadership and commitment to efforts to reduce the number of people killed needlessly by guns, specifically by keeping guns locked and secured. Below is the resolution adopted by the Diocese of New York:

Resolved, that the Convention of the Diocese of New York invites Churches to add the following sentence to the Sunday bulletin:

Please insure that guns in your home are locked and secured against use by children or those suffering agonizing despair.

Explanation of Resolution:

The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013 “urged pediatricians to counsel parents who possess guns that safe storage and preventing access to guns reduces injury by as much as 70%, and that the presence of a gun in the home increases the risk for suicide among adolescents.”

In response, several states passed laws forbidding pediatric programs from engaging in such discussions, or lose state funding.

The Episcopal Church is in a position to advocate for gun safety in the home, while respecting the constitutional right to own a gun. A gun safety statement in the Sunday bulletin could accomplish three goals:

  1. Increase understanding that gun safety is an issue of public concern.
  2. Invite discussions to affirm the Church’s voice and leadership on gun safety.
  3. Offer gun safety leadership to visitors who read the Sunday bulletin.