Mayor Greg Fischer Asks People to Go Gun-Free at Thunder Over Louisville

Mayor Greg Fischer is making a special request for the 600,000-plus expected Saturday on the waterfront for Thunder Over Louisville.

In the wake of youth violence last month in downtown Louisville, Fischer has requested that Thunder attendees leave guns at home in an effort to promote a safe environment at the fireworks and air show.

“We certainly recognize that people have the constitutional right to open carry or concealed carry if they’re permitted, but from a public safety standpoint we don’t think it is a good idea,” Fischer told WFPL on Friday. 

“If there is an incident, the police aren’t going to know the difference between the good guys and the bad guys at the same time.  So, we just ask people to use prudence and common sense.”

More than 1,100 police from multiple organizations will be working Thunder and 28 additional cameras have been installed to help emphasize safety in the Waterfront Park area.

Earlier in the week, Louisville Metro Police Chief, Steve Conrad, said Thunder Over Louisville is a day when police are “ready for anything.”

But some people said they still carry a gun, despite special requests anyone.

David Huff owns Performance Mechanical Defense, a Louisville-based gun retailer.  He said if someone asked him to not carry a gun, he “would probably do it anyway.”

“I think anybody should be allowed to carry a gun,” he said.  “I personally carry a gun all of the time.  I hope I never have to use it, but I’ve always got it concealed.” 

Eric Hansberry, a barber at T & B Classic Cuts in west Louisville, said he worries that if people bring guns to Thunder Over Louisville, innocent people may get hurt.

“People may feel threatened,” he said.  “They could injure somebody that doesn’t deserve it just because of the way they look.

“No one wants to take nobody’s life or harm somebody,” he adds.  “Leave your guns at home.”

WFPL’s Joseph Lord contributed to this story.

Jacob Ryan

Jacob Ryan is the Urban Affairs reporter for WFPL.

@jacobhryan

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