On December 21, the one-week anniversary of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, President Jennings wrote to the House of Deputies about General Convention’s history of speaking against gun violence. “Episcopalians involved in this movement are supported by a long history of legislation passed by the General Convention aimed at stopping the proliferation of guns in the United States,” she said.

In 1976, the General Convention urged Congress to pass “effective handgun legislation.” (Resolution C052). In 1994, it requested a study on limiting the manufacture of weapons, strengthening licensing provisions and banning the import of certain kinds of weapons (D019). In 1997, the convention opposed “conceal carry” legislation, and urged Congress to “increase restrictions on the sale, ownership and use of firearms” C035). And in 2000, it called on members of the church to “work intentionally in their several committees, legislatures, and institutions toward the removal of handguns and assault weapons from our homes, other residential communities, and vehicles” (B007).

In 2000, General Convention passed Resolution D004. It reads: That the 73rd General Convention express deep concern about the repeated use of easily available hand guns and assault weapons by and against children and call upon Episcopalians to seek ways to develop community strategies and create sanctuaries for our children, so that all may come to identify and value themselves and others as the precious children of God that they are, and that they may come to know peace in their lives and to create peace for future generations.