Fifty religious organizations sent a letter to congressional leaders Thursday demanding lawmakers take action on gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting at a Texas church last week.
The groups, which make up the Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence Coalition, called for Congress to “take immediate action to curb the onslaught of gun violence plaguing our nation.”
The coalition noted shootings that have taken place at houses of worship in recent years, including the 2015 church shooting in Charleston, S.C., and the shooting at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis., in 2012.
“It is horrifying that innocents were massacred in a house of worship once again, a terrifying reality for all people of faith in this country who believe that their congregations are sanctuaries of peace, safety, life, and love,” the letter reads.
The groups urged Congress to take action to close loopholes that allow domestic violence offenders to own and buy guns, implement a universal background check system and pass an assault weapons ban, among other demands.
“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our coalition’s legislative priorities with you. All people in our beloved country deserve to feel safe in their houses of worship and their communities; inaction is immoral and wrong,” the letter reads.
“The message that we deliver today is urgent – lives are on the line and there is no time to waste.”
Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence is composed largely of liberal-leaning religious organizations.
The group formed in the aftermath of the 2011 Tucson shooting, which left then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) severely wounded and six others dead, and has partnered with other gun control groups like the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, according to its website.
The letter comes as Democrats demand Congress take action to prevent gun violence after a mass shooting at a Texas church last week left 26 people dead.