Bishop Lee's Statement on Concealed Carry Ban Decision

December 12, 2012

"We already share the blame of being unable to shield far too many of our young people from violent deaths."

CHICAGO, December 12, 2012—The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, Episcopal Bishop of Chicago, has released a statement regarding the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to overturn the Illinois ban on carrying concealed weapons.

"Political posturing follows court decisions about guns, and the loudest voices are usually the ones with the least to lose. Yesterday's appellate court ruling that overturned Illinois' concealed carry ban is no exception.

"The voices of lobbyists and lawyers threaten to drown out the cries of the children and youth who will bear the brunt of any new law that allows more guns on our streets. We have already lost too many of those children, like seven-year-old Heaven Sutton who was gunned down at her mother's candy stand and 13-year-old Tuyquan Tyler, who bled to death in his mother's arms. More than 150 children and youth have been killed by gun violence so far this year in Chicago, and the senseless epidemic has also found its way to other Illinois communities.

"The Christian tradition teaches us that violence only breeds more violence and that the only certain antidote to it is the hard and steadfast work of building a just society. As leaders, we will be called upon to answer first for how we protected the most vulnerable people entrusted to our care. We already share the blame of being unable to shield far too many of our young people from violent deaths. Any conceal carry law that results in more children being gunned down on our streets will only compound our devastating failure."

The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago comprises 40,000 people in 124 congregations in Northern Illinois. The Episcopal Bishop of Chicago is the Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, who leads the diocese to grow the church, form the faithful, and change the world. To learn more, please visit