By David Kenney | January 16, 2019 at 7:31 PM CST – Updated January 16 at 8:22 PM
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) – Jackson Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes is declining Governor Phil Bryant’s offer of several million dollars to battle violent crime on Jackson streets.
Instead, Stokes wants a commuter or toll tax along with more investment into the people of the Capital City. He’s also asking for fewer opportunities for citizens to arm themselves.
“This open carry, that was the worst thing in the world,” said Stokes. “And the governor supported that anybody can almost get a gun now if you’re not a convicted felon, and they got convicted felons with guns. They’re just not being caught or prosecuted. But the mentality is anybody can get a gun. If they get a gun, they’re going to use a gun.”
Residents living near the city’s latest murder agree.
“I’m concerned about it, but all this stuff started when they allowed anybody to tote a gun,” said Jackson resident Gus. “That’s where they messed up at when they did that.”
Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba this week also said gun control is a crucial part of reducing Jackson murder rate.
“We have young people all over social media. The police department sees them carrying all kinds of guns, military grade weapons across this city, so we have to be able to intervene,” said Mayor Lumumba. “We have to be able to stop what is an obvious circumstance ready to erupt across our city.”
Mayor Lumumba said this week, he’s gathering funding for a city-wide camera system with facial recognition technology to capture the criminals.
In the meantime, citizens are hoping more can be done on the front-end to keep the deadly shootings, which are happening at an alarming rate.
Residents in the metro area say they do see the police patrolling the neighborhood. More officers could help.
Currently there are about 350 paroling the streets of Jackson, but the city is budgeted for 418.