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SAFE KC: Calls for gun regulations after KCMO's latest homicides

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Posted at 6:52 PM, Aug 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-04 20:08:36-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Recent activity in Kansas City has leaders searching for answers for how to stop the violence.

As of Sunday, there have been 84 homicides in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2019.

The high numbers are weighing on city officials.

"It's been a rough couple of days for me," Kamisha Stanton, KCMO's Violence Program Coordinator said.

Stanton is actively working to reverse the troubling trend.

"We are at a complete disconnect with our youth and we just really have to use different mechanisms," she added.

The help needed to reduce this violence may have to come from outside of Kansas City, according to Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.

"Missouri, over the past probably 15 years, has been in a steady deregulation of guns, some even criminal laws have been removed from the books that we relied on in order to help maintain safety and public order," Baker said.

The homicide rates are higher in states with less regulations according to Baker, and she is urging lawmakers to pass what she calls "common sense gun restrictions," especially for those who shouldn't possess a firearm.

"About 90 percent of our homicides are committed by gun, so it's a great big number, so we have a big clue as to, that's an easy method for people to use," she said.

Getting people out of poverty and providing jobs and opportunities for residents are just a few other things that could help reduce violence in the city, according to Baker.

Pastor Adam Hamilton from the United Church of the Resurrection also supports more strict gun regulations. He spoke with 41 Action News after the death of 25-year-old Erin Langhofer, who attended his church.

"There should be a basic training class if you're going to have conceal carry, how in the world can you get people the right to carry guns around with them in public that can kill innocent people without having a training class before they do that?" Hamilton said.

Opinions on how to battle gun violence vary. It's a topic Kansas City's new mayor, Quinton Lucas, hopes to address during his time in office.