Yesterday, among the many resolutions passed by both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies was one proposed by me. It is B003 – Regulating Ghost Guns and 3D Printed Guns.
Here is part of what it said:
“That the parts and kits used to build ghost guns- unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be built by anyone using unfinished frames- should be banned, and until that is possible, should be subject to full regulation as firearms and subject to all federal regulations that apply to firearms, including all oversight related to provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act.”
Tens of thousands of these guns have been sold in the U.S. in the last two years. It is simple and legal. Purchase a ghost gun and receive all the parts to the gun but they are not all put together yet. In some cases it means screwing in one screw and it is a fully functional gun. To buy one, no background check is required and there is no serial number so the gun is untraceable.
The resolution continues with information about about manufacturing guns using 3D printers.
In the last resolve, we ask our Office of Government Relations, members of the Episcopal Public Policy Network and individual Episcopalians be encouraged to advocate for state and federal legislation that would ban these weapons.
There are many other resolutions advocating for desperately needed changes in the way we live. Now some people say these resolutions are meaningless. They don’t accomplish anything. But our Office of Government Relations, led by Rebecca Blachly, says that is not true. Just the opposite. Here is what Rebecca and OGR says:
“When a resolution passes on a public policy issue, OGR communicates the Church’s stance to Congress and the Administration, as we are requested to do. But it doesn’t end there! In the months and years ahead, we engage with and build relationships with specific Congressional offices, often prioritizing members who sit on relevant committees. We work with Congressional offices before legislation is introduced; we help to find co-sponsors for legislation, and then we advocate for hearings and ultimately a vote on legislation that is in line with the General Convention resolution. We have private meetings with career and foreign government officials, including in the White House, on the Church’s public policies, shaping the conversation and adding a valuable perspective for policymakers to consider. We send action alerts on legislation that comes from General Convention resolutions, enabling tens of thousands of messages to be sent to Congress from engaged Episcopalians that amplify the Church’s voice. Resolutions don’t just end when Convention ends – that is when our work in the Office of Government Relations – and your work as members of the Episcopal Public Policy Network – begins! In the coming weeks, we will explore many ways that the work of General Convention resonates in the political and policy advocacy sphere and demonstrate how much of an impact our Church has. We hope to show the impact of the Church’s advocacy! We will share some ways that the Office of Government Relations ensures that General Convention resolutions are carried out and that Episcopalians have the opportunity to help implement them. We all have an opportunity to amplify the Church’s public witness on important issues of the day.”Rebecca Blachly, Office of Government Relations
Resolutions like mine are not shouting into the wind. They are about God’s dream for us. Please God may they make a difference. The Jesus Movement Rolls On.