Though gun violence has always been a topic of discussion throughout the years, it seems now more than ever that gun violence is on the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Alabama, especially is impacted. Being the state with the fourth highest rate of gun violence, our communities have been forced to suffer while common-sense legislation has been put in the state of abeyance.

Legislation such as universal background checks and Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) can be implemented to help stop the gun violence epidemic that affects us all. ERPOs is an initiative in which family/household members and/or law enforcement can ask courts to restrict an individual's access to guns, while creating a process for appeals to ensure the at-risk individual does not harm themselves or others through a firearm.

I lived near Fort Payne, Alabama for a majority of my life. Gun-related crime is increasing by the year. The time for complacency is over, which is why I plead that Senator Shelby and Senator Doug Jones take action by co-sponsoring both S.42 (Universal Background Checks) and H.R. 1236 (ERPOs).

Natalie Walls, Formerly of Fort Payne, Alabama

Send letters to the Times-Journal by writing P.O. Box 680349, Fort Payne, AL 35968. Fax 256-845-7459. Email kbeaty@times-journal.com.

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