We are a church that is reformed and always reforming – and this includes matters of faith and public policy.
To facilitate dialog, education and awareness of issues, the Faith & Public Policy Mission Group provides links to resources exhibiting a wide range of viewpoints, some of which may be very different from viewpoints found in our congregation.
The reader is invited to explore the materials with discernment and prayerful reflection.
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN THE UNITED STATES AND SOCIAL WITNESS
Our denomination, the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA), has a long history of taking stands on important social issues. This is the first in a series of articles intended to inform us about positions taken by PCUSA on our behalf.
Did you know our denomination has policies related to gun violence? Over the years, the General Assembly has adopted a number of specific policies related to firearms, including:
- Limit legal acquisition of handguns by an individual to one per month;
- Require licensing, registration, and waiting periods to allow comprehensive backgrounds checks, and cooling-off periods, for all gun purchases;
- Close the “gun show loophole” by requiring background checks for all gun purchases;
- Ban semi-automatic assault weapons, armor piercing handgun ammunition, and .50 caliber sniper rifles;
- Raise the age for handgun ownership to the age of twenty-one; and
- Advocate for new technologies to aid law-enforcement agencies to trace guns used in crimes and to promote public safety.
The 2010 PCUSA General Assembly adopted a resolution on gun violence, “Gun Violence, Gospel Values: Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call.” It contained 16 recommendations as to ways that Presbyterians, as individuals, congregations, presbyteries, synods and the national church can work to reduce the level of gun violence in this country. These recommendations include calling for Presbyterians at all levels to become informed and active in preventing gun violence, to join with other faith communities and public officials to address the issue, to advocate and support previously adopted PCUSA policies (above), and to include concerns about gun violence and its victims in church liturgies.
All 16 recommendations and the report providing background information on gun violence and the theological underpinnings for the church to address gun violence can be found at https://www.presbyterianmission.org/resource/gun-violence-gospel-values-mobilizing-response-god/
None of the denomination’s positions preclude the legal use of personal firearms for hunting or sports-related purposes.
-From the May 2018 Lewinsville Newsletter