Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga Pastors Call for Gun Policy Reform

Advocate Andy

Southern Christian Coalition speaks out following multiple shootings in Chattanooga

A group of Chattanooga pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition spoke out in favor of gun policy reform this week following a recent pair of mass shootings in the city.

The pastors indicated their support for Mayor Tim Kelly's call for federal action on gun control and issued a statement outlining their position.

"Mayor Tim Kelly is right about gun violence right here in Chattanooga being a crisis, and that we can’t push this problem away," said Rev. Candace Worth, Pastor of New Hope Christian Church in Chattanooga. "This is a public health crisis and should be treated similarly to how the country has dealt with and still deals with automobile safety, which has a proven track record of reducing deaths while still allowing people to drive. My 15 year old is scared to go to the youth rally later this week. Our children and youth should not be afraid of going out in public. As Christians we can no longer be silent in response to those who would use God as a means to justify this sort of violence and access to weapons. This is why I echo the call of Mayor Tim Kelly and plead with Senators Blackburn and Hagerty to support the bipartisan efforts to pass common sense gun safety legislation in the US Senate."

Rev. Brandon Gilvin, Pastor of First Christian Church in Chattanooga, also spoke up. "I'm grieved and also angry at the second mass shooting here in Chattanooga in less than ten days, the most recent one being right down the street from my church. Our elected leaders have a responsibility to pass policy that keeps our communities safe, and I agree with Mayor Tim Kelly when he calls on Congress to act to protect us. With gun related deaths being the #1 cause of death for children in our country, it's clear that we have a gun violence epidemic and we demand that Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty have the moral courage to stand for what is right and support bipartisan common sense gun reform to protect Tennesseans from greater harm."

The pastors are part of a group that previously signed and delivered a letter to Gov. Bill Lee calling for action on gun violence.

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

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