Washington, D.C. –Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy issued the following statement in response to actions being taken by President Obama to stem gun violence in America based on recommendations by Vice President Joe Biden.

Today’s actions by President Obama are a welcome and important step forward in our nation’s effort to reduce and ultimately eradicate gun violence and I urge Congress to move quickly in approving and implementing these recommendations. Far too many people already have died as a result of the obscene number of guns among us with capacity far beyond what any private citizen needs for either sport or protection. I am delighted at the support for immediate action coming from religious leaders from diverse religious traditions.

This much-needed current effort is important, but it does not absolve our political leaders or past administrations of their failure to act for well over a decade out of concern that they would be challenged by the radical elements on the political spectrum. Vice President Biden’s recommendations to the President are sensible measures to restrict access to weapons that have no place outside the military, and that provide resources for mental health. I join all who thank the administration for acting quickly, responsibly, and compassionately, but I remain saddened by the long and deadly path we have traveled to get here.

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.