We, the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the State of Georgia, are opposed to House Bill 875.
HB 875 has already been passed by the House and will soon be before our State Senate.
If House Bill 875 becomes law, then it will allow guns in houses of worship as well as bars and schools. This is a mistake.
Supporters of this bill claim our current quite expansive gun laws are not expansive enough. They claim that if only the “bad guys” have guns, then the “good guys” cannot stop them. As one State Representative who sponsored the bill said: “Gun free zones that are created by well-meaning laws are gun-free to the good guys only. The bad part of our society does not care.”
Our Christian Faith has a more complex understanding of “good guys” and “bad guys.” Our Biblical understanding of human sin informs us of this universal truth. People who had no criminal record and had a legal right to their weapons have perpetrated almost all of the recent tragic shootings in houses of worship and schools. They were “good guys” until they weren’t.
This bill solves nothing and it only creates the potential for more gun violence, not less, to say nothing of increasing political polarization in Georgia. Our State’s current gun laws are already quite fair to gun owners, adequately protecting their rights. All the citizens of Georgia have rights as well. We have a right to keep guns out of our houses of worship and our schools.
Please join us in praying for our elected representatives and all those who hold the public trust that they would act wisely on behalf of all Georgians.
The Right Rev. Robert C. Wright The Right Rev. Scott Anson Benhase
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Georgia