PRESS CONFERENCE SCHEDULED IN ST. LOUIS for 11:15 AM, April 11, 2018
Missouri Faith Leaders oppose proposed change to state law allowing concealed weapons in houses of worship
- The Most Rev. Robert Carlson, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
- The Rev. Bob Farr, Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Missouri
- The Rev. Charles Norris, Vice-President, St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition
- Rabbi Brigitte Rosenberg, St. Louis Rabbinical Association
- The Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri
- Leaders representing other communities of faith
WHERE: Catholic Charities 4445 Lindell Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63108
WHEN: 11:15 AM, Wednesday, April 11, 2018
As religious leaders in Missouri:
1) We are troubled by the epidemic of gun violence affecting our community. We mourn with those who are affected by recent heavily publicized shootings, and we witness that gun violence disproportionately affects many of our most vulnerable communities, including communities of color.
2) We wish to acknowledge that many faithful people of good will are gun owners, including several of the bishops and faith leaders standing together to make this statement. There is a role for responsible gun ownership in our society.
3) We oppose the current proposal before the Missouri House to amend our conceal carry law. Our pastors, rabbis, and leaders should not have to place signage in our sacred spaces to prevent weapons from entering. We stand together and object to this proposal. Such a change would be a violation of our First Amendment rights. Additionally the proposal could threaten the public safety of our religious school campuses and day care centers as "conceal carry zones" are extended into these places. We urge the leadership of the Missouri Legislature not to enact this proposal.
4) We urge the Missouri House to consider new legislative priorities such as banning “bump stocks,” limiting high capacity magazines, better access and resources for mental health care, and strengthening background checks.
5) We hope and pray that the political leaders of our State will overcome partisan divisions for the sake of safety. As leaders of differing faith traditions, we are united in the belief that life is a gift from God. We lament the polarization of the “gun issue.” In our public work to end violence, we must work together.