CCAR Resolution on Gun Violence

August 11, 2015

WHEREAS some 34,000 Americans die as a result of gun violence every year; and

WHEREAS statistics strongly affirm that gun laws, when properly enforced, reduce gun violence; and

WHEREAS some 60% of guns that are used in crimes can be traced to 1% of the gun stores in America; and

WHEREAS gun manufacturers have the ability to hold those “bad apple” dealers accountable for their sales practices, record keeping, employee training and cooperation with law enforcement; and

WHEREAS personalized, or “smart gun” technology can prevent accidental shootings, prevent law enforcement agents from being shot with their own service weapon, and make stolen shipments of guns useless to those who steal them; and

WHEREAS after the Sandy Hook school shooting, President Obama vowed to use “all the powers of this office” to reduce gun violence in America; and

WHEREAS there are powerful national legislative and non-legislative campaigns to reduce gun violence in America; and

WHEREAS, in a 2000 resolution, the CCAR took a strong stand in favor of gun control[i]; and

WHEREAS Reform rabbis embrace a responsibility to challenge America's conscience and to heed the biblical injunction that we must not stand idly by the blood of our neighbor[ii]; and

WHEREAS this responsibility calls upon us to embark on a moral offensive by sending a message to our elected officials that we care deeply about gun violence and will hold them accountable and by leading our congregations and institutions to become actively involved in this cause in our communities; therefore

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Central Conference of American Rabbis:

  1. Commits to deepening our gun violence prevention advocacy effort; and
  2. Urges the members of the congregations and communities we serve to demand that their Representatives and Senators enact effective gun violence prevention legislation; and
  3. Endorses broad dissemination of the Religious Action Center's Community Resource Guide to implement the Reform Movement’s strategy for addressing gun violence prevention advocacy; and
  4. Calls upon our mayors, police chiefs, sheriffs, county executives, governors, and federal government, who collectively purchase some 40% of the guns sold in the United States each year, to use that purchasing power to press gun manufacturers to create safer dealer networks and safer gun technology through the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation's Do Not Stand Idly By campaign; and
  5. Encourages CCAR members to become involved in broad anti-violence coalitions in their local communities to press for effective gun violence prevention at all levels.


[i] Resolution on Ending Gun Violence, adopted at the 111th Convention of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; March, 2000.

[ii] Leviticus 19:16