Gun control rally in Frankfort

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A 2017 Louisville murder remains unsolved, but the victim's father is using the tragedy to fight for change.

Dean Walker has joined an effort to pass gun laws that he is convinced will save lives. He came to the Kentucky State Capitol along with hundreds of others as part of a rally sponsored by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

“I'm compelled to be here,” he said.

Walker told the crowd the story of the phone call he received on March 19, 2017, that his daughter, Savannah, had been murdered.

“No parent should have to bury their child because of gun violence,” Walker said.

Savannah Walker was shot and killed while attending a concert at a Louisville art gallery. Walker's son, Nate, later committed suicide in despair.

“Gun violence took my children away, and my greatest fear was realized twice,” he said.

Walker and others are demanding what they call, “common sense” gun measures, such as universal background checks and red flag laws which allow for confiscation of guns from those a judge determines may be dangerous.

“We want to let our legislators to know that we expect them to protect us,” Walker said.

One by one, victims of gun violence spoke the names of loved ones who had either been killed or had killed themselves using a gun, demanding to be heard by lawmakers.

Organizers admit they are fighting an uphill battle considering Kentucky's gun culture.

“We feel like we are making strides, and we’re having conversations with legislators,” said Connie Coartney of Moms Demand Action. “We’re bringing survivors in to tell their stories.”  

Walker said he is compelled to keep pushing in honor of his children.

“Frankly, if we don't have an effect, we are going to be at the ballot box, and we’re going to change the legislators in those chairs if they don’t listen to what we have to say," he said.

So far, no red flag bill has been filed for the 2020 session, and no other gun control measures have been scheduled for a hearing.

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