JALSA and Faith Groups Stand Together on Assault Weapons Ban

BOSTON, Nov. 14, 2018—The Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA) has joined with the Muslim, Episcopalian, and many other faith-based communities to file an amicus brief in support of the ban on assault weapons and large capacity magazines in Massachusetts.

“The mass murder at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh was the deadliest anti-Semitic attack to take place on American soil,” said Cindy Rowe, Executive Director of the Jewish Alliance on Law and Social Action. “Time and time again, we see places of worship and community being the target of unspeakable violence This has to end and we stand together as faith-based institutions in affirming the Massachusetts “Assault Weapons Ban” as it serves to protect the rights of all people to practice their faith in safety and peace, free from harm, free from fear and free from intimidation.”

This brief comes following multiple mass murders at faith-institutions and community gathering spots across the country, including but not limited to:

October 27, 2018: 11 killed, 4 injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by a gunman wielding a legally purchased AR-15 assault rifle

November 5, 2017: 27 killed, 20 injured at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, by a gunman using a lawfully purchased Ruger AR-556 assault rifle and large capacity magazines.

June 12, 2016: 49 killed, 50 injured at the LGBTQ-friendly Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida by a religiously motivated gunman using a lawfully purchased AR-15 assault rifle variant and large capacity magazines.

June 17, 2015: 9 killed at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina by a gunman using lawfully purchased large capacity magazines. 

In addition to JALSA, the signers of this amicus brief include: Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, MA Council of Churches, Episcopal Diocese of MA, Episcopal Diocese of Western MA, Union of Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis, Women of Reform Judaism, and Men of Reform Judaism. 

The aforementioned amicus brief was drafted with pro bono assistance from the law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP.

JALSA is a membership-based non-profit organization based in Massachusetts working for social and economic justice, civil and constitutional rights, and civil liberties for all peoples.  JALSA members successfully advocated for the 1998 Massachusetts Gun Control Act, c. 180 of the Acts of 1998.  JALSA also helped to convene the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of faith-based and other advocacy and community-based organizations with interest in addressing the epidemic of gun violence, and provided staff and key leadership in the successful efforts to pass the Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) in 2018.

If you would like to speak with a signer of this amicus brief, please contact Rachael Dubinsky, JALSA Director of Development and Communications Strategy at rachael@jalsa.org or call 617-227-3000 x12.