WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — People in Warren Wednesday evening did their part to reduce the gun violence that’s been happening recently, not only nationally but locally. On courthouse square, they prayed while at the same time, city council criticized the Ohio legislature for making it easier to get a gun.
Led by Warren’s pastors and clergy, close to 100 people gathered for a stop the violence prayer service.
“But I want you to pray like it’s your child that’s in trouble, your child on drugs,” said pastor and probation officer Vince Peterson.
“We need everything over there on the west side, on the southwest side. We’ve been left behind,” said resident Richard Williamson.
Two blocks away, Warren City Council was hearing from people like Williamson about the violent crime issues on the southwest side.
“We have been hearing pop, pop, bang, bang. You don’t know if that pop, pop, bang, bang is a gun or if it’s a firecracker,” said resident Jacqueline Gore.
“I like the 2nd amendment but with that comes responsibility,” said councilwoman at large Helen Rucker.
Rucker proposed legislation opposing the law recently passed in the Ohio Legislature which effective June 13 will allow Ohioans over 21 to carry a gun without a permit. Rucker called the law irresponsible but didn’t fully blame the legislature.
“We see these laws go into effect and we say nothing, and when it’s time for an election we put those people back in office,” said Rucker.
Council unanimously passed the legislation. Letters expressing council’s opposition will be sent to Ohio’s Speaker of the House and Senate Majority leader. The vote was purely symbolic. Warren can not pass a law that supersedes state law. But given the recent violence in Warren with a 19 and 15-year-old killed by guns, Mayor Doug Franklin was also vocal in his opposition.
“We’ve seen the evidence of how irresponsible our state has been in going forward with this irresponsible law,” said Franklin.