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Birmingham city councilor on youth gun violence: ‘We can’t arrest our way out of this problem’

Updated: Aug. 26, 2019 at 10:53 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Headline after headline, WBRC has reported on nearly a dozen shootings involving youth during the summer of 2019.

Birmingham city councilor Hunter Williams, who heads the Public Safety Committee, said Monday that there are far too many easily accessible guns in and around Birmingham communities.

Whether left in an unlocked vehicle or lying around the house, teenagers and children are handling guns and unfortunately several have died by gun violence.

Birmingham police have seized more than 2,500 stolen or illegal guns in the first eight months of 2019. Williams says the solution to the problem is education and economic opportunity.

“A good education system and also good economic opportunity or job opportunity for our youth to be able to curb some of our violence. This is not a problem we can arrest our way out of,” said Williams.

A step in the right direction is with Mayor Woodfin’s program, The Birmingham Promise.

“All of the graduates of Birmingham City Schools being able to provide for themselves is a huge step in the right direction,” said Williams. “Those who have the hope of an economic career... a less likely to get caught up in a case that involves a firearm.”

Williams said more assistance from the state is also needed. He said the state needs to pass stricter gun laws ownership laws that take illegal guns out of the hands of youth and those convicted of violent crimes.

You can learn more about Woodfin’s The Birmingham Promise by clicking here.

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