Louisville Mayor Pleads for Action on Guns following Mass Shooting

April 11, 2023

Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg (D) on Tuesday called for lawmakers in Kentucky and at the federal level to “take meaningful action” on guns.

His impassioned plea came one day after a mass shooting at a bank in downtown Louisville. On Tuesday, a fifth victim had died from her injuries related to that massacre.

“We need help from my friends in [the state capital] Frankfort and help from my friends in Washington DC,” said Greenberg. 

Noting that action was already being taken to invest in mental healthcare and education, which he referred to as “long-term solutions,” he stated, “We need short-term action to end this gun violence epidemic now so fewer people die on our streets and in our banks and in our schools and in our churches.”

He pleaded for the people of Louisville to be given the autonomy to deal with the United States’ “unique gun violence epidemic.” 

“Please, change our state law to let Louisville make its own decisions about reducing the amount of illegal guns in our streets,” he pleaded. 

He further noted that under current Kentucky law, the assault rifle that was used in Monday’s mass shooting would one day be auctioned off. 

“Think about that,” Greenberg said. “That murder weapon will be back on the streets….It’s time to change this law and let us destroy illegal guns, and destroy the guns that have been used to kill our friends and kill our neighbors.”

After stating that he looked forward to working with the Kentucky state legislature, he introduced U.S. Rep. Morgan McGarvey (D) to talk about solutions on the federal level. 

“Please, if you are a person of faith and you want to give us your thoughts and your prayers, we want them and we need them. Our community is hurting,” McGarvey began. “But we need policies in place that will keep this from happening again so your thoughts and prayers do not have to be offered to yet another community ripped apart by the savage violence coming from guns.”

He called for putting “tools on the books to deal with someone who is an imminent danger to themselves or to others,” including passing background checks. 

“That we are taking weapons of war off of our streets, that we are helping people in crisis, that is not a political issue,” McGarvey insisted. 

He ended by blasting Kentucky Republiclans, who he said “would rather ban books and pronouns, and then make Kentucky a sanctuary state for weapons.”

Kentucky currently is a permitless carry state. Lawmakers there eliminated concealed carry in 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gun homicides in Kentucky rose 95% between 2018 and 2021, and gun suicides rose 5%. 

The Louisville bank shooting on Monday was the 145th mass shooting in the U.S. this year, as defined by four or more victims killed or wounded, according to the Gun Violence Archive. It occurred roughly two weeks after three 9-year-olds and three adults were shot and killed at a Christian school in Nashville. In the two weeks between those two shootings, at least 15 other mass shootings occurred in the U.S. 

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