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Gun legislation remains as focal point of forum as Trump appears to back away from ideas to curb violence

Expanded background checks, red flag laws and assault weapon bans were all topics touched on at the forum.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Talk of any new gun laws this year has been put on the back burner in Washington, but some in Louisville want to keep the discussion going. 

"It's out of control and that's all there is to it," Mike Campbell said. 

Campbell is a survivor of the 1989 Louisville Standard Gravure shooting. He was one of the panelists that participated in a community discussion Sunday night. 

Hosted by Springdale Presbyterian Church, the goal was to discuss different perspectives on gun violence and possible solutions to the issue. 

Expanded background checks, red flag laws and assault weapon bans were all topics touched on at the forum.  

"I hate the term gunman. They're murderers. They should be held responsible for their actions and their activities. We have a culture right now that wants to blame it on things instead of holding people responsible," Barry Laws said

Laws, another one of the panelists, is the owner of OpenRange gun range and shop in Oldham County. 

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Laws discussed internet gun sales as problematic. He also said he'd like to see gun stores get access to a used gun database to prevent selling firearms to the wrong people. Laws also suggested public service announcements educating the public on gun training and safety. 

The third panelist apart of the discussion was Cathy Mekus, a spokesperson for Moms Demand Action, Kentucky. 

"There's a reason we put expanded background checks first because we want to stop the people who should not have guns and have access to them and that's what we're trying to do," Mekus said. 

Mekus said she believes laws make a difference and would like to see more laws surrounding background checks. 

Another main point by Campbell focused on assault weapons. 

"There's no reason for ever to have an AK-47 or AR-15. There's just no reason. You cant give me a reason the populous needs one," Campbell said. 

The forum comes as  The Washington Post reports President Donald Trump has backed off on any support for passing gun reform this year. 

The topic was in the hot seat again following mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas earlier this year. 

"What is it that drives these people to do this stuff and how can we stop them?" Laws questioned at the community discussion. 

"For the most part people with mental health diagnoses are not the ones who perpetrate crimes," Mekus said. 

Mental health was also largely discussed, as the audience members questioned how gun ownership can be prevented for those with mental illnesses. 

"It's a good thing and an important thing that we can come together like we did tonight and talk from different perspectives, talk civilly and try to find answers and I think compromise is what we have to have," Pam Brashaer, a discussion attendee said. 

Three Kentucky senators announced in August a proposed red flag law for the state. They said they would plan to file a bill for the next legislation session.

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►Contact reporter Tyler Emery at temery@WHAS11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@TylerWHAS11) and Facebook.


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