Leaders hope to prevent gun violence with proposed laws, according to forum

The WAVE (Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort) Educational Fund hosted the Preventing Gun Violence Forum in Milwaukee on Thursday (May 28). Professionals from different fields talked about legislation that's being proposed as a plan of action to end gun violence.

One of the speakers in the event was Ashley Fogl. Her daughter Layla Peterson, 5, was shot and killed last November after someone shot 12 rounds into a house.

\"Laylah was an inspiration,” Fogl said. “She was so passionate and forward. She had the biggest heart.\"

It was difficult for Fogl to go in front of an audience at the forum and speak about her experience. However, she felt it was important.

\"Our bright young leaders for tomorrow are disappearing and it's all because of senseless crime,\" she said.

Police Chief Ed Flynn said these crimes can be prevented with stronger laws.

\"We're not just a city that happens to have violence and guns,\" Flynn said. \"We are a city that's functioning in an environment in which firearms are easily gotten, quickly used to resolve disputes and for which the sentencing structures are laughably lenient.\"

WAVE presented three plans of action. These include: requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning gun sales for 10 years for people who have a violent misdemeanor conviction, and create the Lethal Violence Protective Order. The last is a tool family members can request to temporarily take guns away from a loved one in a crisis situation.

The first two are being proposed in the state legislature and the third is being drafted, according to those in attendance.

The Education Fund to Stop Gun Violence is an organization based in Washington D.C. that's been around for more than 25 years. They work closely with the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort. Both organizations worked to identify new strategies and translating that for policy makers.

\"To make sure that we have a comprehensive plan in place so that we can have voices from all over Wisconsin making the case that these three policies need to be implemented,\" said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.

As for Fogl, the mom who lost her daughter to gun violence, she thinks the gun restrictions proposed may have saved Laylah's life.

\"It could have made it tougher on that person to get their hands on a gun in the first place,\" she said. “It can stop another Laylah Peterson case or a Bill Thao case. They are being taken from us for no reason.”

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