Birmingham leaders and church members oppose gun violence

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Birmingham Police Chief Scott Thurmond, Mayor Randall Woodfin and church leaders all speak out against gun violence in Birmingham today.

Dozens of people gathered at St. Mary’s Catholic Church to pray, but they were also looking for support and answers.

For 100 days, church members prayed on their rosaries to end the violence.

Chief Thurmond was solemn as he spoke to them and said it was hard to witness the growing problem of gun violence.

“It’s just sad to watch as a community, to see our community destroying itself from within,” Chief Thurmond said.

Chief Thurmond says it will take a team effort for the community to start seeing change.

“Look at how many people go to church, religious institutions or still have the faith. I don’t think those numbers are what they used to be. I don’t think the pews are crowded, and that’s a problem because that they don’t see and don’t understand, they don’t have love in their hearts, they don’t have morals, they don’t have respect for humanity.

Church leaders recognize that our community has a problem, and they say everyone needs to step up to deal with it.

“We put more respect in a gun than in people’s lives. People are dying every day because of gun violence,” a church deacon said.

Mayor Randall Woodfin addressed the issue at Tuesday’s city council meeting, stressing that changes to the law are needed if we want less violence.

“As long as these types of firearms are allowed on the streets, the carnage we see, the pain we see from our citizens who have lost loved ones. The ease and access to guns like these on our streets. We cannot solve this problem alone at the local level,” Mayor Woodfin said.

Mayor Woodfin revealed at the council meeting on Tuesday that DPT has confiscated over 700 guns this year alone.

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