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Missouri bishops issue gun safety statement to lawmakers

ST. LOUIS, MO — Archbishop Robert Carlson is joining the other three Missouri bishops in signing a statement on gun safety. It is directed at Missouri lawmakers. They say its time to talk guns.

Archbishop Carlson was unavailable due to travel obligations but Mike Hoey, of the Missouri Catholic Conference in Jefferson City, says lawmakers need to listen up.

“The attitude is you're only safe if you got a gun. If our society is getting to the point where everybody thinks they have to be armed then that's not a civilized society anymore," said Mike Hoey.

The legislature is looking at bills on gun safety. They are also considering one that many churches around the state dont want.

"There's one that they want to basically force churches to post signs saying no guns allowed,” said Mike Hoey.

Bishop Carlson feels that it is a violation of churches first amendment religious rights. Right now if a person gets permission from a pastor then they can bring a gun into a church.  The document states that the bishops want universal background checks, elimination of bump stocks and magazines no larger than 10 rounds, and improved access to mental health care.

“We go to talk about violence in the entertainment industry among young people and how we resolve conflicts without the violence," said Mike Hoey.

Hoey adds that the bishops believe in self-defense. They think the argument is getting to an extreme position and becoming vigilante justice. The bishops say that after all the violent mass shootings across the country it was time to issue a statement on gun violence.