Groups clean up Portsmouth neighborhood, give away gun locks in effort to fight gun violence

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Posted at 10:31 AM, Jun 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-25 18:44:21-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Several organizations came out to a Portsmouth neighborhood Saturday morning, cleaning up litter and handing out gun locks in an effort to fight gun violence in the city.

Armed with bright vests and garbage bags for picking up litter, people helped clean up an Effingham Street neighborhood. The cleanup was organized by Stop the Violence 757 in partnership with the City of Portsmouth after weeks of citywide violence.

Other groups present at Saturday's event, Keeping Us Secure and Prosperous (KUSP) and Two Seconds, gave out gun locks.

The event came the day President Joe Biden signed gun safety legislation into law, but the people on the ground in Portsmouth say work also has to happen at the local level.

"We realized the best way for us to see the impact was to partner together, go out into the community and bring those resources," said Jay Boone, the president of KUSP.

"If you look good, you feel good and it inspires you to do good, so if they see people like this helping out a lot, other people are going to catch on, come out and it's just going to spread," added Stop the Violence 757 Vice President Rickey Hoggard, Jr. "That's what we want."

Organizers say cleanup events already happen around the city, and they're expected to continue.