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The Diocese of West Missouri Peace and Justice Committee is teaming up with the Missioner for Gun Violence from the Diocese of Missouri to attend the lawmaker Advocacy Day for common sense gun legislation in Jefferson City. We would like to invite you and anyone in your parish who is interested in gun safety legislation to join us.

We will be joining Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the parent organization of the Be SMART program, on March 7 at the state Capitol. The Rev. Mary Haggerty, the Missioner for Gun Violence in the Diocese of Missouri, will be leading a short interfaith prayer service on the steps of the Capitol as part of the program.  Attendees will gather at a conference space near the Capitol for training and an update on gun legislation in the Missouri legislature this year, then will walk to the Capitol for a group photo, followed by the prayer service for those who choose to attend it, then attendees will break into groups led by a trained volunteer to visit lawmakers and advocate for common sense gun legislation.  The program starts at 10:00 and attendees should expect to be finished with meetings by 2 p.m.

Legislation expected to be brought up again this year includes the Guns Everywhere bill that would force guns to be allowed into sensitive places like bars, amusement parks, daycares, college campuses and churches. Just yesterday a bill that would outlaw Red Flag Laws in Missouri was heard in Senate committee. A Red Flag Law allows law enforcement to temporarily remove the guns from the home of those determined by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others. Parents begged for guns to be removed from the home of the troubled person who perpetrated the school shooting in St. Louis this fall, and a red flag law could have saved lives.

If you are interested in attending, the Rev. Haggerty has more information here. Be sure also to click on the link in the post to register with Moms Demand Action so the group knows to expect you and can place you in a group to meet your lawmakers.

Want to learn more about Be SMART?

Diocesan volunteers are ready to give a 20 minute Be SMART presentation to your church, Adult Formation, Children’s Formation parents, or any other group. A communications toolkit is ready for your use, full of social media and bulletin graphics, articles for your newsletter, handouts, and directions for how to share the message of Be SMART with your congregation. Contact Tara Bennett at for more information, or visit the Peace & Justice Committee page on the Diocesan website.

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.

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.

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    • 05-05-2023. Link to an email sign-up form added, and Peace and Justice Chair Tara Bennett’s email address updated.
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