Faith leaders continue their stand against gun violence

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A group of local faith leaders continues to take a stand against gun violence. Thursday, they took their concerns to the Public Safety Building, and are calling on police to figure out new ways to keep guns out of the hands of criminals in the city.

Their message is clear—unless we stop the flow of illegal guns here in Rochester, the community will see the number of lives being lost continue to rise.

These faith leaders say they stand in solidarity with police as they call for the end of violent gun crimes. They say out of the 44 homicides in the city, guns were used in at least 80 percent of those deaths.

The group is calling for more pressure from city and state leaders to help stop the flow of illegal guns that are plaguing our streets.

"One of the problems in this community that keeps us from coming together to deal with systemic issues is how do we break down the barriers of institutional, structural, and personal racism that stands between what is right and what is wrong," said Minister Clifford Florence, Sr. from the Central Church of Christ.

Bishop Fred Johnson from First Genesis Baptist Church added, "We are coming together as the clergy, law enforcement, and other concerned citizens just to suggest to you that not only are we outraged about the violence, but we want meaningful tactics and strategies to help us address these issues of violence in our City of Rochester."

Besides gun legislation, the clergy group is also calling for changes in the state’s bail reform policies. They want to see judges once again having full discretion on who gets released when facing a gun charge.