Senate Refusal of Gun Regulations a 'Failure in Moral Leadership'

US Bishops Note Disappointment

Washington, D.C., (Zenit.org) | 1228 hits

The Senate's rejection of legislation aimed to increase regulations on firearms is "a failure in moral leadership to promote policies which protect and defend the common good," according to the US bishops' chairman on domestic justice.

Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, asserted this in a letter Thursday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The letter expresses "deep disappointment," saying that the proposed regulations were reasonable. 

"The USCCB has been working with other faith leaders and organizations urging Congress to support legislation that builds a culture of life by promoting policies that reduce gun violence and save people's lives in homes and communities throughout our nation," wrote Bishop Blaire. "In the wake of tragic events such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, the failure to support even modest regulations on firearms is a failure in moral leadership to promote policies which protect and defend the common good."

The U.S. Senate failed to pass amendments to the Senate's gun violence legislation (S. 649) that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases, increased penalties for gun trafficking, reinstituted an assault weapons ban and imposed restrictions on civilian access to high capacity ammunition magazines. Bishop Blaire noted that many of the provisions of the bill enjoyed bipartisan support.

"Though we are disappointed, we will continue our efforts to work with Congress and other people of good will to advocate for policies that create a safer and more peaceful society," Bishop Blaire wrote.

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On the Net:

Full text of Bishop Blaire's letter: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/criminal-justice-restorative-justice/upload/Letter-to-Senate-Leadership-on-Gun-Violence-Vote-4-18-13.pdf

Additional information on the U.S. bishops' advocacy on gun violence prevention: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/criminal-justice-restorative-justice/index.cfm