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With 100,000 Americans shot by a gun every year,
NCC Governing Board calls for end to gun violence

New York, May 19, 2010 -- Alarmed by statistics that 100,000 Americans annually are victims of gun violence, the National Council of Churches Governing Board unanimously adopted a resolution calling for legislative action to limit access to assault weapons and hand guns.

The Governing Board, presided over by National Council of Churches President, the Rev. Peg Chemberlin, met May 17 and 18 in a Newark airport hotel in Elizabeth, N.J.

The resolution, "Ending Gun Violence: A Resolution and Call to Action," also called on Congress to close the "gun show loophole" that allows buyers to purchase firearms from private sellers without submitting to background checks or providing documentation of the purchase.

The resolution called on member churches to support the NCC staff "in coordinating ecumenical efforts for gun violence reduction," including the preparation of educational materials and establishing dialogue among gun owners and gun control advocates.

"Responsible gun ownership can be consistent with our constitutional rights," the resolution stated. "However, it must be stressed that there are relatively few shootings by average citizens defending themselves. Rather, most fatal and non-fatal shootings result from abuse or misuse of guns."

The resolution cited statistics that firearms are used in 1.5 million crimes annually in the U.S.

"More than 69,000 shootings each year are non-fatal, yet still leave in their wake a trail of pain, suffering and/or disfigurement, and anguish and grief for family and community," the resolution stated.

The full text of the resolution can be downloaded at                         

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's member faith groups from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),

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