Flint officials join national push for tougher gun legislation

Flint city officials are joining a nationwide effort to pass stricter gun control laws. They announced their support at city hall earlier Thursday.

This is all a part of a national effort by the organization, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. Rallies were held across the nation Thursday, demanding tougher gun laws.

Mayor Dayne Walling says that's something Flint needs. It's a joint effort by top city officials.

â??I believe it's my responsibility to be involved in reforms that will make an impact here in Flint,â?? says Walling. He believes stricter gun control laws will make one of Americaâ??s most violent cities safer.

â??So many of us have been affected by gun violence and we need to do something to get those fire arms off the streets,â?? says Walling. That something is universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and a ban on high capacity magazines but this movement goes beyond Genesee County.

An ad featuring family members of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre hit the airwaves Friday. The ad is sponsored by the group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Walling hopes this movement will encourage Congress to pass tougher legislation.

â??Over time, laws like this will make our community safer,â?? says Walling.

But Flint neighbors NBC25 News spoke with are divided over the issue.

â??They need to have a background check, you know you got our young kids out here getting killed everything and the elderly and everybody else along the line,â?? says Roosevelt Sims, a resident of Flint.

â??We are a pretty violent city so it wouldn't help too much,â?? says Ricky Brown, a resident of Flint.

Prior to that announcement, another meeting about gun violence was held at Flint Northwestern High School. The meeting was sponsored by the group, Flint Lifelines.

The organization brought in many officials from across Genesee County including Michigan State Police and the Department of Corrections. The group strives to get the community involved in policing the city and fighting crime.

Law enforcement agencies gave updates about the program and also told neighbors how they can get involved in fighting crime.

Police Chief Alvern Locke says he'll use all the help he can get.

"Weâ??re asking them (Flint residents) to be eyes and ears. We're asking them to be sick and tired of the things going on in the neighborhoods that bring the quality of life down and we ask them to report those things to us so that we can carry out whatever initiatives we need to carry out to make the quality of life in the neighborhoods better,â?? says Locke.

City officials want you to get involved with their fight against crime. A petition neighbors can sign for tougher gun legislation is available at Flintâ??s city hall.