Atlanta faith coalition to seeks to curb gun violence

A coalition of churches and activists have a new plan they say will dramatically reduce gun violence in the metro Atlanta area. 

Three innocent bystanders were caught in the crossfire of a gun battle at a Decatur Circle K gas station last week. Reverend Darryl Winston says it’s the exact kind of crime that demands action from the community.   

"We are lamenting the fact that the blood of our children are running down the streets of our nation like water from the stream. We're seeing it here in Atlanta," Winston said.  

Winston is the head of the Save Our City Coalition. 

A group of faith leaders and activists working on issues plaguing metro Atlanta, like gun violence. 

"We want to eliminate this wild, wild west effect where people going about their business have to dodge bullets," Winston said.  

That's why the coalition plans to unveil a 10-point plan Tuesday to address and prevent gun violence in the Metro. 

Winston says one part of the plan will create "safe sites" at local churches. 

So, violence prevention groups can work directly in communities who need it. 

"Safe sites will enable us to have command centers where clergy and activists and Cure Violence people will be working in tandem," Winston said.  

He says using data on gun violence, they want to open safe sites in zip codes that see the most shootings. 

"To pool resources to provide a working strategy and a solution to impact immediate, short term and long term that will foster the reduction of gun violence in that zip code," Winston said.  

FOX 5 asked Winston how this plan would be different from other violence prevention programs we've seen come and go over the years. 

"Speaking with city leaders, the mayor's office, I recommended a task force on youth and gun violence, not just for this metro area, but throughout the state. There is no such task force that I'm aware of that currently exists," Winston said.  

He says another part of this plan would create a task force, made up of grassroots organizations already on the ground. 

Who will then make recommendations to local metro governments about how to prevent gun violence? 

But he says they'll need those government officials and businesses to provide funding for these initiatives. 

"It's going to take a buy-in from political leaders. It's going to take a buy-in from even the business community. We established a peace endowment for the corporate leaders," Winston said.  

The coalition will unveil the full 10-point peace plan at the Higher Ground Empowerment Center on Tuesday morning.