LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is asking gun owners to leave their firearms at home during this weekend's Thunder Over Louisville. His comments aren't sitting well with gun owners.

Following a rash of teen violence in downtown Louisville in late March, gun owners have been vocal about their choice to carry a firearm. Many have told WDRB through interviews, phone calls and social media that the violence downtown is why they chose to carry.

But despite the mob violence that took place in and around Waterfront Park the night of March 22, officials are assuring people that Thunder Over Louisville is safe.

"There's plenty of protection there, and we just ask people to use common sense when they come down to Thunder," said Fischer.

Common sense that Mayor Fischer says includes leaving your guns at home -- as he discourages those with conceal and carry permits to bring their own form of protection.

"I don't think it's a good idea," said Fischer. "Obviously they have a right to do that, but things can escalate when that takes place."

The mayor's comments have received a lot of attention on the WDRB Facebook page.

One person wrote: "He [Fischer] doesn't seem to realize that people with permits are law abiding citizens and the criminals are the ones that carry illegally."

Another post reads: "...By telling people not come carrying he is advertising to thugs and punks it is safe to come and wreak havoc..."

With around 1,100 law enforcement officials set to be on hand during this year's Thunder, many Facebook posts applauded the work of Louisville authorities while pointing out that officers aren't at every turn.

One person wrote: "The law enforcement personnel here do an excellent job but they can't possibly be at all places at all times. I am responsible for my own safety and for the safety of my family."

Conceal and carry permit holder Kelly Hayes agrees, and says he will be carrying a firearm on Saturday.

"When someone is threatening me or my family, are you going to take out your cell phone and make a phone call and hope they get there in time, or are you going to protect yourself?"

Hayes says he has never had to use his gun in self defense, nor does he want to -- but he wants the option. And he questions whether the Mayor enjoys the same protection.

"I wonder if he has people watching him that carry guns and if he is going to ask them to put down their weapons?" asked Hayes. "Because I bet he doesn't."

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