Knoxville city council, mayoral candidates answer questions on gun violence

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The East Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense hosted a meet and greet for Knoxville city council and mayoral candidates. The meeting was focused on gun violence prevention.

Here's the candidates' responses to the top three questions:

What is your position about having gun shows on city property?

City Council Seat A
Lynne Fugate:
City has the right on public lands to decide what is appropriate. There is no place for [gun shows].
Charles Lomax Jr.:
Against the sale of firearms and gun sales on city-owned property.

City Council Seat B
David Hayes:
Opposes gun sales and shows on city property.

City Council Seat C
Amy Midis:
Public property should be used for events in the best interest of the city.
Amelia Parker:
Does not support the sale of guns on public property.

City Council District 5
Charles Al-Bawi:
Ban all gun sales on city property. Events should only be for beneficial things.
Charles Thomas:
Public property should be used for the enhancement of health, humanity and education. Gun sales are the opposite of what we should try to promote.

Mayoral
Indya Kincannon:
Opposes the sale of guns on public property.

Would you support the red flag law, which states that if someone could be of harm to themselves or someone else, then an authority figure could take away their gun?

City Council Seat A
Lynne Fugate:
Concerned about who determines whether someone is mentally ill. In theory, a law taking away firearms from someone deemed a threat to someone else or themselves is a good idea. But how that is executed is not solid yet.
Charles Lomax Jr.:
Supports it. We need to be proactive to curtail gun violence.

City Council Seat B
David Hayes:
Supports it.

City Council Seat C
Amy Midis:
Supports the idea, but said we have a long ways to go to make sure it is implemented correctly. She said she would like to see more work done on the law.
Amelia Parker:
She said the law has to be explored a little more. "I’m a little wary to coming up with public policy solutions that don’t acknowledge mental health officials. In some applications, it could be a good thing."

City Council District 5
Charles Al-Bawi:
There is an epidemic that needs to be addressed. We need safe gun laws. Concern is what standard will be applied and how will it be enforced.
Charles Thomas:
"History has been a sad teacher of this." He said there have been multiple events that happened where innocent people died. The red flag law would be a long way to prevent this.

Mayoral
Indya Kincannon:
Supports it. "Doing nothing isn’t working. I would like to try something new."

Tennessee leads the country for unintentional shootings involving children. What will you do to reduce unintentional gun deaths?

City Council Seat A
Lynne Fugate:
"[We should] work on increasing funding for educational programs to partner with Knox County Schools for children and especially teenagers to know how to safely store guns. There also needs to be parental education.
Charles Lomax Jr.:
"I was unaware Tennessee was number one. Number one is not always good. Education is the main tool we have as city council members to help spread the word ... "While I was in Dick's Sporting Goods, I noticed gun safes are not cheap. If we could work to reduce the price with a rebate program. It's just an idea to get more safes in houses."

City Council Seat B
David Hayes:
We need to expand what the government typically does. Removing guns from the public is important. Making it as hard as possible to sell guns in Knoxville. We need to give more money to non-profits doing the work about education.

City Council Seat C
Amy Midis:
This is something I would advocate for.
Amelia Parker:
I would Support programs like 'Be Smart' implemented by Moms Demand Action, which talks about safe storage for adults.

City Council District 5
Charles Al-Bawi:
"It will take a culture change. We have a gun-friendly culture. The first thing I can do is advocate. Advocate for education. We have hunter-safety program for adults."
Charles Thomas:
"I support initiatives that corrects gun violence. I would work with non-profits to be a voice for the idea. Continue the dialogue to find the solution to some of these problems. The best I can do is be an advocate on the dangers to children.

Mayoral
Indya Kincannon:
"I would recruit responsible gun owners to the cause."

Eddie Mannis is also a candidate for Knoxville mayor. He said in a statement to WVLT News, "I’m so sorry I won’t be at the Moms Demand Action event [Tuesday] evening, due to a long scheduled conflict. The issue of gun violence in our community is serious and requires serious thought and action." He continued to say, "Counseling is often cost-prohibitive for the family members dealing with the impact of gun violence. I have already spoken with the leadership of Helen Ross McNabb about the need for a program that could provide counseling services for families dealing with these tragedies."

"I hope we can decrease the need for this counseling by reducing gun violence at its root cause. I believe a critical component will be providing hope and opportunities for our youth. Organizations like Emerald Youth and The Change Center are important pieces," he said.

Janet Testerman could also not attend the event.

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