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Louisville Mayor Takes Call For Gun Safety Legislation To Washington

Mayor Greg Fischer
J. Tyler Franklin
Mayor Greg Fischer

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is in Washington, D.C., this week with other mayors, calling on federal officials to implement what he calls common-sense gun reforms. They met with White House officials Monday and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Tuesday.

There has been more than one mass shooting per day in America this year, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. And the most recent gunshot report from the Louisville Metro Police Department indicated that 146 people were shot through July 2019.

On Monday, he stood with other members of the United States Conference of Mayors, of which he is vice president, to push for new gun legislation.

"Not only is this horrific today, think if this trend line continues," he said at a news conference. "What's our country going to be like in five years, 10 years? And what are we going to say to our kids and our grandkids about what we did at this moment?"

Fischer has been speaking out more often on the issue recently. Last month, he invited President Donald Trump to discuss gun violence with him during a visit to Louisville, which the president declined. The mayor made the national media rounds that day, speaking to a number of outlets, including NPR.

Since then, the city's emergency services department executed an active shooter training downtown, and Fischer penned an op-ed calling on Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell to act on gun reform without waiting on the president. That came nearly a week after the senator said he and fellow Congressional Republicans are waiting on the White House to lead the way.

“There's a desire to do something. Some of the senators are pushing from within," Fischer told WFPL during a phone interview Tuesday. "Senator McConnell is waiting on a signal from President Trump. So it's not that there's a lack of desire up here, it seems like there's a lack of ability at the current time to get it done.”

In Kentucky, state law prohibits local firearms ordinances, which means Louisville officials do not have the power to regulate guns in the city.

Fischer said he would like to see state lawmakers act on gun control.

“And of course, our state is loosening gun laws -- they're going in the wrong direction," he said. "So we would really welcome some action from Frankfort.”

Reporter Kyeland Jackson contributed to this story.

This story has been updated. 

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.