Local religious leaders want to minimize gun violence

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Church leaders are coming together with the Topeka Police Department to make minimizing gun violence a priority.

“I think we’re really in a learning curve trying to learn what the nature of gun violence is locally,” chair of the Topeka Against Gun Violence task force, Kevin Carr says.

A complex problem which local religious leaders want to find a solution to and a task force has been created to do just that. The major concern during Wednesday’s faith leaders meeting is where the real cause of the problem comes from. The task force’s research shows that Kansas ranks 37th in the United States for strict gun laws. But Topeka Police say stricter gun laws won’t really help.

“What they call straw purchases where it maybe someone that legally is not allowed to purchase a firearm but finds someone who is and has that person purchase it for them,” Topeka Police Department’s Sgt. Colleen Stuart says.

That’s why police say one solution is getting the community involved and Carr agrees.

“But I do think it’s incumbent upon us and this community to, to try learn as best we can,” Carr says.

The task force plans to take its research into the community then get public input on what might work best. The new task force is part of the larger group of the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice.

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