March 23, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Shocked and saddened by yesterday’s mass murder in Boulder, Colorado, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) calls for a national ban on assault weapons. Franciscans and the Franciscan-hearted are people of peace and non-violence. Clearly, peace in America is incompatible with the widespread availability of weapons like the AR-15.

Boulder City Council voted unanimously in May 2018 to ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. However, that decision was overturned by a court ruling less than two weeks before yesterday’s killings. The National Rifle Association (NRA), an organization that promotes the easy availability of the most dangerous instruments of war, actually celebrated the overturning of Boulder’s efforts to protect its citizens from assault weapon violence. Thoughts and prayers are useless without good works and we must urge President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress to ban weapons of war.

AR-15 assault rifles were created for mass killings. Assault weapons are battlefield weapons intentionally designed for human targets — to kill many people as quickly as possible. These guns have no legitimate use outside of war. Just as federal law prohibits civilian possession of hand grenades and ground-to-air missiles, a federal ban on civilian ownership of assault weapons is imperative for the peace and security of American society.

We will continue to advocate for comprehensive gun violence legislation and work for a culture of peace that encourages nonviolence as we use the prayer attributed to St. Francis that calls us to “Be Instruments of His Peace.”



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