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Bishop Blaire Voices Disappointment At Senate Failure To Support Measures To Reduce Gun Violence

April 19, 2013

WASHINGTON—The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed "deep disappointment in the Senate's failure to support reasonable regulations to reduce gun violence in our nation" in an April 18 letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

"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 Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California. "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.

The full text of Bishop Blaire's letter is available online:

Additional information on the U.S. bishops' advocacy on gun violence prevention is available online:


Keywords: U.S. bishops, Catholic Church, USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, gun violence, S. 649, U.S. Senate, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, background checks, gun trafficking, high capacity ammunition magazines, bipartisan support

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Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206

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