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Louisville community signs petition urging gun reform to keep pressure on Kentucky lawmakers

A local physician and peace activist is determined to keep the conversation on gun reform moving forward.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The calls for gun reform continue after two mass shootings in less than a week earlier this month in Louisville.

Local physician and peace activist Dr. Muhammad Babar is determined to keep the conversation on gun reform moving forward after giving a passionate speech at the vigil for the victims of the Old National Bank mass shooting and a separate shooting that same day on 8th and Chestnut.

Now, he started a petition and is asking everyone to keep the pressure on legislators.

The petition asks for five reforms:

  • expand mental health programs
  • improve mental health screenings
  • limit assault-style weapons
  • establish a waiting period between gun purchases and possession
  • eliminate auctions of guns confiscated by police

“We are not using the word ban; we are just asking to limit it,” Babar said. “If there are hunters, people who really are into it, they should be able to get it but after a due process.”

Babar also said that a waiting period would give someone experiencing a mental health crisis time to get the support they need before making any violent decisions.

They're all points organizations like the Louisville Urban League and the NAACP have made in the past week as well.

“We are not asking that you just go after the guns are just after the mental health, we want a holistic solution and this solution is not gonna be achieved in the first month or first year, but at least we need to take a first step in the right direction,” Babar said.

Babar said he’s spoken to Democrats and Republicans about the petition and has garnered support.

And those who don't think their constituents have the appetite for gun reform, he asks legislators to just start the conversation.

“They are just using these excuses,” Babar said. “If they engage their constituents on some commonsense gun laws, I think the folks in rural communities will wholeheartedly agree with that.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the petition has more than 300 signatures.

► Contact reporter Bobbi McSwine at BMcSwine@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter  

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