Activist, community leaders implement programs to curb gun violence in Hampton Roads

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Nov 15, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. — Shots were fired every day in Hampton Roads over the last four days. That is the reality for our communities today - we can expect to hear gunfire.

News 3 spoke with a community activist who believes there are some things that can be done to curb gun violence.

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

"We're looking at an unsafe environment - people putting their hands on guns and moving out in the community and using it in a very, very violent way," Muhammad said.

This frustration comes fromthe hectic weekend of shootings that took place throughout Norfolk and Portsmouth. Muhammad said there is no respect for the community, youth or our seniors.

"We have different programs taking place right now, internally, working in different communities, and we're trying to minimize this situation going on. It's a tough job, but we got to be consistent," he said.

Muhammad said it's the leaders' jobs to go out in the community to talk with the youth.

"If you have a gun, pass it on to me; pass it on to another community leader and we will turn it in," said Muhammad.

Although there are gun violence prevention plans in place, Muhammad said there is a need for successful programs, like the Stop The Violence Community Forum that was held Saturday to continue to combat gun violence.

"This was a start, a development, an inspiration, goal to move on to the other cities, so this can provide the same quality and information that is needed in other cities, and we have to do this," said Muhammad.

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

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

Related: Norfolk Police chief details plans to deescalate gun violence