Kriseman joins Mayors Against Illegal Guns and signs Statement of Principles

More than 1,000 mayors nationwide are members.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman wants to put the residents of, and visitors to St. Petersburg on notice. "We need to change the culture that exists in this community," said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. "Possessing illegal guns and engaging in gun violence is not acceptable in this community," Kriseman said.

With a few strokes of the pen and surrounded by other city officials and community leaders, Kriseman signed his Statement of Principles and now joins Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a nationwide bipartisan coalition consisting of more than 1,000 mayors from across the country committed to stamping out illegal guns. Kriseman says the effort to wipe out illegal guns in St. Pete starts at the top.   

"I felt it was important as the Mayor of the city to be the one to set the tone and the culture," he added.

St. Pete Police on average, remove about one illegal gun from the streets everyday. And although gun buy backs and amnesty programs have made inroads, Kriseman and other community leaders say it's not enough and the community needs to step up.

"We can make a difference in our community. It doesn't have to be this way. So I'm glad that the mayor signed this. I'm wholeheartedly in support of it, and I'm looking forward to making another difference in our community. We won't tolerate gun violence," explained Lisa Wheeler-Brown.

Wheeler-Brown's 21-year-old son was murdered with an illegal gun more than five years ago. Just a few months months ago, she became President of the Council of Neighborhood Associations in St. Pete.

"He lost his life to senseless violence because someone thought he was a big guy because he had a gun. And now he's serving three consecutive life sentences," Wheeler-Brown said.

"I want people to come to St. Pete, but not if they're planning on engaging in gun violence," Kriseman added.

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