Religious communities play a significant role in efforts to reduce gun violence, including by advocating for commonsense gun reform using a variety of tools. Their work is driven by both a sense of ethical obligation and concern for the safety of their communities.
Gun violence in the United States is an epidemic that affects all communities. While people may most often hear about gun violence through news reports on mass shootings, gun violence manifests itself in many ways. Other forms of gun violence include suicide, violent crime, abuse, and accidental death—all of which concern faith communities and religious leaders in the United States. After incidents of gun violence, faith communities are often sites for funeral rituals, collective grieving, and long-term support networks for survivors. Moreover, faith communities are often targets of white supremacist attacks and other forms of violence. They play a significant role in efforts to reduce gun violence as well, both within their communities and the nation, by advocating for commonsense gun reform using a variety of effective tools.
Most religious Americans believe that gun reform is needed to save lives. In turn, religious organizations, acting out of a sense of sacred obligation and moral conviction, are working to end gun violence through violence interruption programs, education, counseling, advocacy, and more. They are also working to push back against the harmful ideology of Christian nationalism, which research shows is connected to opposition to gun reform.