Local leaders say permitless carry law is adding to recent gun violence

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County’s District Attorney says we are on track to beat last year’s record number of homicides.

This comes after a violent weekend that left seven people dead, including a teenage boy.

RELATED: Violent stretch of gun violence in Memphis leaves 7 dead, including teenage boy

Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich says it’s going to take more than the police. She is calling on community groups to partner with her office to reach groups before it’s too late.

“It seems like just about every Monday morning, we’re talking about a violent weekend,” said Weirich. “This one was particularly tragic because we’re talking about a young life.”

Weirich says the permitless carry law that went into effect in July adds to the recent violence we’re seeing across the city. 

She also says parents must do their part.

“Know where your kids are. Know where your children are 24 hours a day, seven days a week and who they’re with,” said Weirich.

In one of seven deadly shootings over the weekend at Hickory Farm Apartment Homes in Hickory Hill, police said a 16-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed a 17-year-old with a gun given to her by a 16-year-old boy.

RELATED: Two teens charged after 17-year-old shot to death at Memphis apartment complex, police say

“You would have thought that the last year’s record number of homicides, last year’s number of children being murdered, would have been enough. Well, we’re on track to now to beat those numbers,” Weirich added.

Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner says his department is seeing more cases of accidental shootings now that the permitless carry law is in effect. He says thefts from motor vehicles are up in the city and county because people are not properly storing their weapons.

“The district attorney’s office is prosecuting these adults that are putting weapons in young people’s hands, but again, sometimes these weapons are carelessly left under mattresses, under pillows, places that you should never store a firearm,” Bonner said.

Sheriff Bonner says in many cases, parents are leaving guns in the car where children can get them, then shooting each other.

Right now, the sheriff’s office offers free classes at the Sheriff’s Training Academy to educate the public on how to handle a handgun.

They say those classes have been full each time.