Apr 21, 2023Call to action against guns in churches

Call to action against guns in churches

Tara Bennett Two-minute read.   Resources

Update May 4, 2023

HB 282 was voted out of committee in the Senate on Wednesday, May 3. It is headed to the Senate floor, where, if passed before the end of the session next week, would then head to the Governor for signature. Please continue to call your Senator and as many other Senators as you can and tell them you oppose the bill. You can call multiple times, and you can leave messages after hours on their voicemail.

Original Article

The Peace and Justice Committee is urging members of The Diocese of West Missouri to contact the Missouri Senate to ask them to oppose House Bill 282 when it comes to the Senate next week. Missouri House Bill 282 was passed in the Missouri House on Monday.

Under current law, a concealed carry weapon holder is prohibited from carrying a firearm into a house of worship without the consent of someone representing the religious organization. It also allows a firearm in the parking lot of a place of worship as long as it remains in the car and is not brandished.

This bill repeals that section in its entirety, and the only way a church could restrict concealed carry holders in their sanctuary is to post a sign minimum size 11”x14″ near their sacred space. Also, HB 282 allows those with concealed carry permits to travel on buses and other public transportation and loosens the qualifications to receive a concealed carry permit at the same time.

This is a Call to Action to contact all Missouri Senators

phone calls to their offices are far more effective than emails, and you can leave voicemails after office hours or on weekends.

We urge you to contact not just your Senator — to look up your Senator click here, but as many Senators as possible. Missouri has just 34 Senators, and they all need to hear from people of faith, and faith leaders. For a list of all Senators and their phone numbers, click here.

Feel free to use one of the call scripts below, or craft your own message. Legislators have told us that phone calls to their offices are far more effective than emails, and you can leave voicemails after office hours or on weekends.

If you want to be informed about urgent issues, calls to action, legislative alerts, and ongoing gun violence prevention work with The Diocese of West Missouri, please complete our form.

Contact Tara Bennett at peaceandjustice@diowestmo.org for more information, or visit the Peace & Justice Committee page on the Diocesan website.

Call Scripts – Two Options

Call Script #1

“Hi. My name is [XXXXX]. I’m a member at [name of church] in [city or town] and I’m calling to urge Sen. [XXXXX] to vote against House Bill 282 and not allow guns in churches or on public transportation.

This bill is a reckless proposal that would threaten the sanctity and security of churches across our state.

There is no evidence to support the notion that flooding sensitive spaces with guns will eliminate gun violence. Nor is there a reason to purposely place churchgoers in danger by allowing anyone, even strangers, to carry a loaded handgun into their place of worship.

Moreover, this bill would force public transportation entities to allow individuals to carry concealed firearms. This means more guns in public spaces in a state that has no foundational gun violence prevention laws in place.

The potential ramifications of enacting this bill could cause more harm to our communities. Please do not pass HB 282, and instead, focus on supporting common-sense gun laws that would actually protect our families from gun violence.

Vote no on HB 282”

Call Script #2

“Hi. My name is [XXXXX]. I’m a member at [name of church] in [city or town] and I’m calling to urge Sen. [XXXXX] to vote against House Bill 282 which would force guns inside houses of worship. We should be able to worship free from the threat of armed intimidation and gun violence and this bill would infringe upon the first amendment right that all Americans are afforded. I would appreciate it if you would pass this message along to Sen. [XXXXX]. Thank you for your time.”

If you would like to speak on the issue of guns on public transportation as well, you could add any personal stories about traveling on public transportation (does not include Amtrak) and something like this:

“I would feel less safe on public transportation if people were carrying guns, especially since I don’t know who is legal and who is not. Especially with this bill making it easier to get a concealed carry license”

Tara Bennett is chair of the Peace and Justice Committee. A member of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, she is also an active volunteer with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.


  • 05-05-2023. Link to sign-up form added.
  • 05-04-2023. Update text added. Contact details for Tara Bennett updated.
  • 04-25-2023. Contact details for Tara Bennett added.

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