Gun Violence Prevention

a woman holds a sign listing victims of gun violence | Presbyterian Peace Fellowship

Day of Prayer for Students
Sunday, February 17. 

On February 14, 2018, a former student entered the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in
Parkland, Florida with an AR-15-style semi-automatic weapon. In 7 minutes, he killed 17 students
and adults. In February of 1893, Presbyterians first participated in the Universal Day of Prayer for Students, lifting to God the lives of children, teenagers and young adults. In February of 2019, these two anniversaries coincide in a way that calls the church to take seriously the steps needed to protect students and all of us from the crisis of gun violence in our nation.

Download the February Worship-Action Resource Kit. 

Our faith calls us to do more about gun violence.

“All who live by the sword will die by the sword,” said Jesus in Matthew 26:52b, admonishing Peter for drawing his weapon in defense.

Far from being a political issue, gun violence is an epidemic that affects church communities profoundly. Last year, more than 30,000 American deaths and countless injuries traumatized families and neighborhoods, and the church is where the bereaved and the shell-shocked come to find peace, understanding, and a place of rest for their lost loved ones.

What does the Lord require of us? The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship offers this Gun Violence Prevention Toolkit to help your congregation turn toward action against gun violence. Revised in 2017, the toolkit offers a wealth of educational resources for small or large groups, including films to screen in your church or community, case studies, worship design, and ideas for starting the conversation. It also includes the customizable No Guns in God’s House sign, which is making its way onto church buildings across the country and can be ordered separately from the toolkit. Read and share this brochure for a quick overview of this important work.

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)
Download the Report

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. Updated in 2017!

Get the Toolkit

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)