Gun violence has become a growing concern among city leaders, and one alderman said it’s time to put some teeth into the city’s ordinances involving punishment for those involved in gun-related crimes.
Alderman Ron Johnson said he is going to make a motion to increase the fines associated with gun crimes within Yazoo City. He added that misdemeanor charges are simply not enough.
“If you let them shoot the guns and give it back to them or don’t confiscate them…at some point, we have to get on top of it,” Johnson said “When summer gets here, it is going to get worse. We have got to do better than what we are doing.”
Johnson said the recent gun violence within the community is tragic and unnecessary.
“This shooting is not necessary,” he said. “What they are shooting about is not worth a crap. You don’t even own the stuff you are talking about. East side, west side…Yazoo City is not even big enough to have a side. You can walk across Yazoo City in four or five minutes.”
Police Chief Joey Head said the Yazoo City Police Department has taken about 25 guns off the streets within the last month. Unfortunately, many times those same guns must be given back to the owners if no charges are brought forth.
Just last Friday, Head said there were two shooting incidents within Yazoo City, and both incidents could be related. During Monday’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, Head said the department does have three “persons of interest” in the recent shooting cases, and his department is currently trying to locate those suspects to bring forth arrests and charges.
Head also said a major problem with local gun violence involves juveniles. He said it is imperative that the parents become involved, but he admits that has been an obstacle.
“We need to start punishing these parents,” Johnson said. “You have got to hit them where it hurts…their pockets.”