Grassroots Action Center

Call to Action: Safer Neighborhood Gun Buyback Act
Gun violence has been on the rise in the United States in recent years, killing more Americans in 2021 than in any other year on record. This epidemic reaches far and wide and impacts the mental, physical, social, and emotional health of the communities that are frequently exposed to violence. On March 3rd, 2023, the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act (H.R. 1361) was reintroduced to the House of Representatives to decrease the number of guns on our streets. This legislation would allow the Department of Justice to make grants to state and local governments as well as gun dealers for people to turn their guns in for financial compensation in the form of prepaid cards that cannot be used to purchase another firearm.

Gun buybacks are a proven method of gun violence prevention with the objective of decreasing the number of guns in circulation. Due to their “no questions asked” approach, they can remove both legal and illegal firearms from the community in some capacity. A nationwide gun buyback program has never occurred in the United States, yet data from Australia showed an 80% decrease in gun-related suicides following their national buyback. While this legislation would result in buybacks that are compulsory and on a local scale, it offers communities the opportunity to initiate these buyback programs and take a necessary step in gun violence prevention. This legislation should be supported in order to make an impact on local communities by decreasing the risk of gun violence.

The 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church stated that “In our country 40,000 people are losing their lives each year to gun violence. Each one of these represents to us the crucified Christ, as do their orphans, their grieving parents and families, as do the nearly 100,000 who are injured and the countless others who are traumatized by gun violence through suicides, murders, family violence and accidents. In faithfulness to the Prince of Peace, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stands with, grieves with and calls for change alongside the victims of our uniquely American epidemic of gun violence”

With all this in mind, we ask that you support the Safer Neighborhoods Gun Buyback Act of 2023 by both increasing recognition and holding members of Congress accountable. The PCUSA’s gun violence policy is available here and can be shared within your circles and congregations to raise awareness about the issue of gun violence. You can also reach out to your representatives and ask them to support the bill.

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