Gun Safety

Sisters Approve Corporate Stance
on Responsible Gun Ownership

 

Disturbed by the escalating violence in the United States, the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa approved a corporate stance in April supporting responsible gun ownership. A corporate stance is a public statement which is the result of prayer, study, reflection, and discussion by members of the Congregation. In announcing the approval by the Sisters, Peace and Justice Promoter Sister Reg McKillip, OP, said, “Now more than ever, we need voices demanding change in our gun laws. Our corporate stance gives us a vehicle to join the call for change and raise our voices as one.”

The corporate stance reads as follows:
We, the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, are disturbed by the escalating violence in our country and feel called to take action. We stand with those who support Responsible Gun Ownership in the U.S. in order to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from guns and secure the right for personal safety. 

Responsible Gun Ownership includes the following:

a. requiring all persons who own guns to be licensed to own guns and register all guns in their possession;
b. requiring all persons who seek a gun license to successfully participate in an approved gun education program which addresses knowledge of gun use, judgment and safe storage in their homes;
c. limiting gun licenses to persons who are deemed qualified to be gun owners after a national background check. The national background database would require national mandatory reporting based on the requirements of the Gun Control Act of 1968;
d. prohibiting persons with a history of domestic abuse, convicted of a violent felony, or adjudicated with mental illness deemed potentially harmful to self or others, from obtaining a license;
e. enforcing the provision of the Gun Control Act of 1968 which
-  required a minimum of 21 for a person to obtain a hand gun;
-  required all manufactured and imported guns have serial numbers;
-  imposed stricter licensing and regulations on the firearm industry;
f. requiring all licenses to be renewed every two years only to persons who qualify to continue owning guns based on the updated national background check;
g. requiring persons properly licensed to sell guns to limit their gun sales, including on-line or gun show sales, to persons who are licensed to own guns.  Violation of this requirement will result in revoking the gun sales license;
h. prohibiting persons who are not licensed to own guns from accepting guns as gifts;
i. banning the import, manufacture, sale and ownership of assault weapons and bump stock as these are designed for mass killings in a wartime environment.


RATIONALE
An integral part of our identity as Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa requires us to work for justice. Amnesty International1 has accused our country of committing human rights violations by failing to protect its own citizens from gun violence. This crisis impacts every community across the country. Using the power of our voice as Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa through this corporate stance gives us the opportunity to help decrease gun violence. As the Gifford Law Center states, “Our nation’s high rate of shootings can be reduced, but because of weak gun laws riddled with loopholes, too many dangerous people still have easy access to deadly weapons.”2  By becoming educated voters and helping educate other voters, we can elect legislators who will close loopholes and create a standardized system for licensing gun owners, including conducting and enforcing background checks.

ACTIONS:
We believe we are called to:

1. educate ourselves, family, sponsored institutions, friends, neighbors and colleagues about the need to address gun violence through both state and federal legislation that relates to responsible gun ownership by all persons;
2. collaborate with other organizations that are also addressing gun violence;
3. inform ourselves about the positions of political candidates regarding legislation to address gun violence, promote responsible gun ownership, and vote accordingly. We encourage Sisters and Associates to write letters to their state and national congressional representatives in support of legislation consistent with provisions of our stance;
4. recommend that the Congregation purchase stock in gun manufacturing companies for the sole purpose of being a voice of conscience as we engage in shareholder advocacy in collaboration with others.

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