Dozens rally in Birmingham for stiffer gun laws

Updated: Aug. 18, 2019 at 5:58 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the country continues to mourn the lives lost in mass shootings in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH, dozens of protestors gathered in downtown Birmingham Saturday to demand lawmakers take action on gun control.

“People continue to lose their lives,” said a representative of Moms Demand Action, an advocacy group against gun violence.

Several advocacy groups including, Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, and several other organizations hosted a rally at Kelly Ingram Park to call for Alabama lawmakers to pass a strong “Red Flag” law and background checks on all gun sales.

“Birmingham, how do we stop our concrete streets from bleeding?” asked Onoyemi Williams with Peace Keepers of Birmingham.

Williams believes the fight against violent gun crimes should be a multi-part solution.

“Gun laws are for honest people. Unless we deal with complete disinvestment in certain communities, no matter what laws you put in place, a person who wants a weapon, they are going to get a weapon,” said Williams.

The groups also calling for a red flag law in Alabama which would give police or family members the right to legally remove guns, temporarily, from a person who may be a danger to others or themselves.

“In addition to that we have to look those who are picking up illegal guns. What is making them think they have nothing else to lose,” said Williams.

The National Rifle Association has said guns in the hands of the right people is the solution.

“To stop a bad guy with a gun you have to have a good guy with a gun,” said Wayne LaPierre, Executive VP and CEO, National Rifle Association.

The current legal age to carry a gun in Alabama is 18.

There is no permit, background check or firearms registration required when buying a handgun in a private sale. Open carry is legal in Alabama without a permit. Concealed carry requires a permit. Schools and courthouses are gun free zones, according to law.

A bill called the Gun Violence Protective Order Act is under consideration by the Alabama legislature. The law is modeled after red flag laws passed in other states.

The Alabama legislature is in recess until 2020.

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