Activist community

Activist and community leaders implement programs to address gun violence in Hampton Roads

NORFOLK, Va. – Shots have been fired daily in Hampton Roads for the past four days. This is the reality of our communities today – we can expect to hear gunshots.

News 3 spoke with a community activist who thinks there are things that can be done to reduce gun violence.

Community activist Bilal Muhammad said one of the main problems is that illegal guns are in the hands of criminals. The Kroc Center was filled with families, police and community leaders who say they are tired of the senseless acts of violence over the weekend.

“We’re dealing with a dangerous environment – people are getting their hands on guns and moving around the community and using it in a very, very violent way,” Muhammad said.

That frustration stems from the turbulent weekend of shootings that took place across Norfolk and Portsmouth. Muhammad said there was no respect for the community, the youth or our elders.

“We have different programs going on right now, internally, working in different communities, and we’re trying to minimize that. It’s hard work, but we have to be consistent,” he said.

Muhammad said it is the job of the leaders to go out into the community to talk with the young people.

“If you have a gun, pass it to me; pass it to another community leader and we will hand it over,” Muhammad said.

While there are plans to prevent gun violence, Muhammad said there is a need to have effective programs in place, like the Stop The Violence Community Forum held on Saturday to continue tackling violence army.

“It was a start, a development, an inspiration, a goal to move to other cities, so that it can provide the same quality and the same information that is needed in other cities, and we have to do that,” said Muhammad said.

Community leaders tell News 3 they don’t know when the next community forum will be, but they are trying to schedule monthly meetings.

Muhammad said it was personal for him because he lost his brother to gun violence 39 years ago and he will continue to push for change.

Related: Norfolk Police Chief Details Plans To Defuse Gun Violence