Portland faith leaders announce anti-gun violence rally to promote gun control initiatives

Portland faith leaders announce anti-gun violence rally to promote gun control initiatives

Side-by-side memorials remain at Khunamokwst Park for Jennifer Garcia and Charlie Borbon-Lopez, months after the two died in a shooting in Northeast Portland on Monday, March 1, 2021. August 21, 2021 Beth Nakamura/Staff Several leaders in Portland’s faith community came together Friday to announce an anti-gun violence rally this weekend to promote two gun control ballot initiatives. Better Portland, the group putting on the Stop the Violence Community & Youth Rally, said the event will feature live music, free food and a push to gather signatures for Initiatives 17 and 18 that advocates hope to get on the November ballot. Portland has seen a dramatic spike in shootings and homicides due to gun violence over the last 18 months. The city has seen more than 80 homicides in 2021, easily eclipsing the previous record of 70 set in 1987. “This has to stop,” said Liz McKanna of Lift Every Voice Oregon, one of the organizations backing the initiatives. “We need to be doing something to change the system.” The initiatives, similar to previous efforts that stalled last year, would ban high capacity magazines, require permits for private transfers of firearms and institute more stringent background checks for those looking to buy guns, among other new regulations. McKanna said her organization is hoping to gather more than 112,000 signatures to get the initiatives on the ballot in November. The rally kicks off at 1 p.m. Sunday in Pioneer Courthouse Square. — Kale Williams; kwilliams@oregonian.com ; 503-294-4048; @sfkale

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