Gun Violence Prevention

"As followers of Jesus, called to live into the reality of God’s dream of shalom as described by Micah, we must address the epidemic of gun violence so 'that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in God’s paths.' Therefore, we call upon United Methodists to prayerfully address gun violence in their local context." - 2016 Book of Resolutions, #3428

Violence destroys life, and guns make violence easier and deadlier. Our notion of security - and of our children's safety - crumbles under the weight of violence and the epidemic of mass shootings within our country. Our hearts cry out with compassion when we hear once again of lives stolen through the motion of pulling a trigger. As people of faith, The United Methodist Church seeks to end the devastation that gun violence continues to perpetuate in this country, where 116 people are killed by guns every day. That means each year, over 43,000 US residents die from gun violence - a rate more than 8 times that of any other high-income nation in the world. Together, we must take action to end the epidemic of gun violence in this nation.

What Can You Do?

  • Learn more about what The United Methodist Church says about gun violence prevention.
    • Read Our Call to End Gun Violence, Resolution 3428, in its entirety here.
    • UM Social Principle Paragraph 162 says, "We deplore acts of hate or violence against groups or persons based on race, color, national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, disability, status, economic condition, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation." Read the whole paragraph here.
  • Learn more about gun violence in Ohio and the United States.
    • Ohio has weak gun laws and the 23rd highest gun death rate in the nation. On average, someone is killed with a gun every 5 hours in Ohio. Gun violence is the second-leading cause of death for children in Ohio. Learn about gun violence in Ohio here.
    • 3 million children are directly exposed to gun violence each year. Read more statistics about gun violence in the U.S. here.


As United Methodists, we are people of prayer and action! Join in the broader movement demanding gun reform by writing your elected officials at the state and federal levels, advocating for swift and meaningful gun reform legislation to be passed. Let your voice be heard!


Connect with others who are already working to promote gun violence prevention:


As United Methodists, we are a people of prayer, and prayer can be a powerful witness. Consider dedicating a worship service to gun violence prevention, or organize a community prayer vigil and invite other faith communities to become involved.

A Prayer in the Midst of Violence

Creator God, we come to you in grief and confusion.
Our minds argue with our hearts, and we are full of doubt that the violence will ever end.
We need to know you are with us in this moment… in our communities.. and with those affected by gun violence around the world.
God, call us to action.
Reveal to us the realities of pain and suffering of your children and how we can best respond.
God, provide us courage and hope to confront the violence around us.
God, let this prayer be the beginning of my journey… our journey… toward healing that which has been broken by gun violence in our communities and beyond.
God, help us care.
Help us act.
Call us to action.
(Adapted from “The Book of Uncommon Prayer” by Steven L. Case, p. 60)


Fear Less Video on Gun Violence (2018 Annual Conference) with Lynda Thacker and Rev. Dr. Peter Matthews: