Interfaith Alliance for Gun Safety
“Do not stand idly by while your neighbor’s blood is shed.” Leviticus 19:16
Every day in Minnesota, at least one person is killed with a gun. As people of faith, we know that these individuals were made in the image of God and that their lives mattered—not just to their family and friends, but also to their Creator.
Often it falls upon faith communities to lead the public mourning for these victims. We plan candle light vigils, we preach inspiring sermons, we call for moments of silence. But with over 33,000 Americans dying by gun violence every year, all that feels a lot like standing idly by while our neighbor’s blood is shed.
Congregations, faith-based organizations and individual people of faith are invited to join Protect Minnesota’s Interfaith Alliance for Gun Safety and work to prevent gun violence before it occurs, rather than lead the mourning procession afterwards.
People of faith and religious organizations have always been the most powerful agents of change in Minnesota. We need that strength now, because gun-rights extremists have never been in a more powerful position. We won’t be successful at passing sensible gun laws—and saving lives—if we don’t reach out to, organize, and mobilize people of faith from all traditions in our state.
1) Closing the background check loopholes that enable felons, domestic abusers and other legally prohibited individuals to purchase guns from private sellers, at gun shows and online, without a criminal background check. Our #1 priority is passing legislation that would mandate background checks before ALL gun purchases.
2) Passing legislation authorizing Gun Violence Protection Orders, also called “Red Flag” legislation, so that family members and police can petition a civil court to have firearms temporarily removed from individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others during a period of crisis. Almost all suicide victims and mass shooters exhibit “red flags” prior to their lethal actions.
3) Removing prohibitions in state law against the collection of data about gun violence and gun deaths which prevent law makers from having the information they need to make informed decisions about gun safety.
Suicide Awareness and Prevention
75-80% of gun deaths in Minnesota are suicides. The Interfaith Alliance for Gun Safety works with congregations, in addition to mental health and public health partners, to inform families and faith leaders about the need to identify, get help for, and prevent access to guns from those vulnerable to suicide.
Protect Minnesota promotes a culture of health and safety for all Minnesotans by preventing gun violence. Education is as important to the fulfillment of that mission as legislation. Through presentations at churches, synagogues, mosques and other organizations, we teach about safe gun storage and help people understand the danger that unsecured guns represent to children, families, and the community.
We invite you to join us!