In 2013, First Plymouth Church formally adopted a public statement and position on firearm violence. The statement says, in part, that we support “legislation at the state and national level designed to reduce the present level of violence arising out of the improper use of firearms.” A complete copy of the statement can be found here.
That same year, the church’s Reduce Gun Violence Committee, which was created to implement the congregational position statement, helped mobilize church members to speak out and communicate with state legislators in the 2013 legislative session as a package of common-sense gun safety measures was being debated. Five progressive laws were passed, all aimed at reducing the level of gun violence in our state. A First Plymouth representative appeared at one of the legislative hearings to present our position on the issue.
In 2014, the committee helped form an interfaith coalition called Colorado Faith Communities United to End Violence (CFCU). This coalition, made up of more than three dozen congregations of several faith traditions, works year-round to continue advocating for common sense gun safety laws, networking with health officials and institutions to emphasize the impact of firearm violence and suicides as a public health issue, and collaborating with other organizations dedicated to these causes. CFCU members have presented extensive testimony before the Colorado legislature every year since 2014 both to defend successfully against efforts to repeal the five bills passed in 2013 and to press for new common sense laws such as the Extreme Risk Protection Order Bill (commonly referred to as the “red flag” law), which was adopted by the state in 2019.
The coalition also promotes gun safety messages as a public health issue to the general community, including launching a new program called Ask A Doc which seeks to get health care professionals talking about guns in the home and safe storage of guns with their patients, etc, and offering to sponsor suicide prevention classes called QPR training (Question, Persuade, Refer) for their congregations and anyone else who might be interested.
The First Plymouth Reduce Gun Violence Committee presents Christian Education programs at the church on this issue twice a year. For more information contact Peter Fogg, Chair of the committee.