February 07, 2014

The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church ADVOCACY TEAM


Senate Study Bill 3044 (SSB3044)  Allow 12-year-olds to be trained in use of pistols.  This bill would allow children beginning at the age of 12 to possess a pistol or revolver with the supervision of their parent (or other adult over 21 who is approved by the parent). Possession could be for instructional purposes at a practice range or it could be anywhere else. The current law allows for 14-year-olds and up to possess a pistol or revolver with parental supervision.

The argument from those who support the bill is that the two-year difference basically does no harm. It helps children learn how to get used to and handle a gun safely. Some older supporters even reference when they raised their kids decades ago.

Our United Methodist Resolution on Gun Violence (No. 3426 in The Book of Resolutions, 2012) says “Violence, and more particularly, violence to children and youth, is a primary concern for United Methodists.  We recognize and deplore violence which kills and injures children and youth. . .we call upon The United Methodist Church to 4. Develop advocacy groups within local congregations to advocate for the eventual reduction of the availability of guns in society with particular emphasis upon handguns, handgun ammunition, assault weapons, automatic weapons…”

We believe this legislation sends a dangerous message to children, parents, and society. In today’s world, there is no longer a time and place where it’s appropriate for children to be in possession of a gun, particularly pistols and revolvers. Data backs up our message.

A new study reported on January 27, 2014, indicated that 7,000 children are injured requiring hospital visit, and another 3,000 children die from handguns. “This study reinforces what we know from the mortality data,” said Daniel Webster, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. “We have an extraordinary health burden in our youth associated with firearms injuries.”  The U.S. stands out, Webster said. “When you look at firearms-related mortality in the United States compared to other high income nations, our rates are roughly 10-fold higher,” he said. “This is a very unique and abnormal problem that such a wealthy nation should have such high mortality and morbidity in youth related to firearms.”NBC news Linda Carroll 1/2714:

We are asking you to PLEASE contact the following Senators today or this weekend, and ask them to oppose SSB3044. As United Methodists, we ask legislators not to make it easier for children to have access to guns.  say “No!” to SSB3044!

Please email or phone these Iowa State Senators today.  Gronstal-Council Bluffs & these Natural Resources members: Seng-Davenport, Ragan-Mason City, Bolkum-Iowa City, Black-Newton, , Schoenjahn-Burlington, Brase-Muscatine, & Com. Chr. Dearden-Des Moines (east side).  If you e-mail, please only send to one Senator at a time.

Michael Gronstal              Home 712-328-2808        [email protected]

Amanda Ragan                  Home 641-424-9874        [email protected]

Dr. Joe Seng                       Home 563-322-5522        [email protected]             [email protected]

Joe Bolkcom                       home 319-337-6280       [email protected]      [email protected]

Dennis Black                       Home 515-975-8608       [email protected]      [email protected]

Brian Schoenjahn             Home 563-633-4065        [email protected]

Chris Brase                          Home 563-260-5416        [email protected]

Dick Dearden                     Home 515-262-1203       [email protected]