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Bishop McKenzie Speaks at Capitol Hill on Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

On Tuesday, June 13, NCC President and General Secretary Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie joined Congresswoman Lucy McBath, House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Whip Katherine Clark, Assistant Democratic Leader Jim Clyburn, Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, and House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Chairman Rep. Mike Thompson for a press conference with gun violence prevention leaders, survivors, and advocates to call upon Republican leaders to bring several pieces of gun violence prevention legislation to a vote in the House of Representatives.

During the event, Congresswoman McBath announced that she introduced a discharge petition for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2023. In all, three discharge petitions were introduced, with Congressman Mike Thompson introducing the discharge petition on the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, and Congressman Jim Clyburn introducing the discharge petition on the Enhanced Background Checks Act, which he said would have saved the lives of those murdered at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., eight years ago.  The procedural move would force a vote on the bills, which have been stalled in the House of Representatives.

Bishop McKenzie provided a faith perspective during the press event, applauding the efforts of the members of Congress who displayed “uncommon courage” in pushing for the enactment of sensible gun legislation.

“We need to stand up for worshipers, for shoppers, for dancers, for Americans, and for our school children,” said Bishop McKenzie in her comments.

Pointing to the faith of the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:24–30) who advocated for her child’s deliverance before Jesus, Bishop McKenzie offered these words of encouragement, “We will not give up! We will persist like that woman, and at the end, she was applauded for her faith and her prayers were answered. We, the people, serve a God of love, serve a God who is on the side of the oppressed, and we serve a God of peace and a God of justice. Come now and let peace and justice reign!”

Other speakers included Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Rep. Pat Ryan, Dr. Joseph V. Sakran from This Is Our Lane and Vice-Chair of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Board, and Jordan Gomes, Sandy Hook Survivor and Newtown Action Alliance.

To watch the full press conference, click here.

NCC urges member communions, partners, and supporters to contact your member of Congress (click here) and tell them to sign on to the discharge petitions for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 (H.R. 698), the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (H.R. 715), and the Enhanced Background Checks Act (H.R. 2403).