Rep. Justin J. Pearson holds gun violence rally ahead of special session

Published: Aug. 20, 2023 at 12:39 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 20, 2023 at 7:28 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With the special session just days away, Memphis State Representative Justin J. Pearson is hosting events throughout the weekend in an effort to “protect kids, not guns.”

Rep. Pearson held a rally Saturday morning which several city leaders, community members, and activists attended.

“Nobody deserves to die; nobody deserves to get shot!” LaVonda Thorn-Henderson said.

With tears running down her face, LaVonda Thorn-Henderson shared the story of her son Larry, who was shot & killed back in January.

“We have got to get these guns off the streets,” she said.

She, along with other community leaders including the re-elected District 86 State Representative Justin J. Pearson rallied outside the Shelby County Commission building, demanding safety and security for all of Memphis

“We’re fired up because we are tired,” Rep. Pearson said. We’re tired of the status quo because it’s killing us.”

Since regaining his seat in the House, Rep. Pearson has been relentless in his efforts to get guns off Memphis streets.

It’s something he says is critical following last weekend’s shooting in downtown Memphis, where eight people were hurt.

“We didn’t just wake up here,” Rep. Pearson said. We got an attorney general who’s saying 18–21-year-olds can carry guns; they can’t buy a beer, but they can have a weapon of war.”

Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley also attended the rally.

“We elected some freedom fighters in the state of Tennessee who went to Nashville and said enough is enough,” Smiley said. Rep. Pearson, we thank you, rep. Justin Jones, we thank you for standing up for municipalities like Memphis who understand the amount of guns in our community, The amount of gun violence in our community is far too much.”

Also at the rally, was city councilman Dr. Jeff Warren, who introduced a referendum restricting gun use within city limits.

“Yes, to handgun carry permits, yes to safe storage guns, yes to a ban on assault rifles, and yes to red flag laws,” Dr. Warren said.

He’s asking voters to let the state know what kind of gun reform they want to see in Memphis, on the upcoming referendum set for August 1, 2024.

“I’m so tired of all the funerals, I’m so tired of all the news stories,” Pearson said. “People have got is thoughts in prayers when we are in positions of power to do something.”

Rep. Pearson will hold another event tomorrow afternoon to address gun violence.

The prayer service and vigil begin at 2 p.m., at the Church on the River, on Virginia Avenue.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.