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Greater Louisville Inc. announces efforts to lobby for gun reform as violence takes toll on businesses

Up until now, GLI had been mostly silent on the issue of gun violence.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One of Louisville's most influential voices, Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) is joining the ongoing fight to curb gun violence in the city.

The Metro Chamber of Commerce announced it will be lobbying for gun reform in Frankfort, as bipartisan talks continue at the capitol.

Up until now, GLI had been mostly silent on the issue of gun violence. 

That is, until, it sent out a "gun violence reduction policies" survey to its 1,800 members. Of those who responded, more than 82% supported GLI advocating for policies related to gun violence reduction.

GLI President and CEO Sarah Davasher-Wisdom said within that 82%, there were slight differences on which policies members all supported.

The survey asked respondents what specific policies it should advocate for, providing this list to choose from:

  • Increased funding for access to mental health services
  • Increased resources for community programs like Group Violence Intervention, which reduce gang violence
  • Local concealed carry permit
  • Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention (CARR) law to allow for temporary transfer of firearms away from people on the brink of crisis
  • Expansion of gun-free zones
  • Increased funding for law enforcement
  • Legislation to require weapons used in violent crimes to be destroyed rather than sold at auction
  • Ban on assault weapons
  • Requiring a 3-day waiting period after a gun is purchased before it can be taken home
  • Other (please specify)

"Businesses really feel like we need to take a stand to curb gun violence,"  Davasher-Wisdom said. "There is limited patronage to business, there is limited desire to locate to a business, there's a concern for talent-seeking to locate to a business."

Davasher-Wisdom also referenced findings from Harvard Medical School researchers, who found that revenue and productivity losses resulting from gun injuries to workers cost private companies an additional $535 million per year. 

"I think what that survey shows is that people are focused on what they can do. This is not a partisan issue," Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg said.

GLI now has its sights set on Frankfort, where Greenberg is in ongoing talks with GOP lawmakers.

That includes Republican House majority whip, Jason Nemes, who is eyeing a multifaceted approach to violence prevention. 

However, Greenberg asked state lawmakers give Louisville the autonomy to create its own gun laws. He also wants to prevent firearms used in crimes, from being auctioned of to retailers.

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