CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Local activists and elected officials are joining together Monday for a special rally to address gun violence. The "Stand Against Gun Violence" event is the 4th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally for Justice and Peace and is set to follow the parade through downtown Charleston.
The rally is being hosted by the Coalition – People United to Take Back Our Community.
Mayor John Tecklenburg, Sen Marlon Kimpson are expected to speak as well as the Rev Dr. Kylon Middleton, pastor of Mt. Zion AME, and friend of the late Rev. Clementa Pinckney.
"For the last 3 years, The Coalition has gathered in Marion Square on the King Day holiday to honor Dr. King and the issues that he addressed during his life," a press release said. "In our first 2 rallies, we focused on all of the social justice issues that Dr. King addressed: public education, voting rights, affordable healthcare, police brutality and gun violence…the same issues we struggle with today."
This year's rally will focus on gun violence, specifically addressing background check loopholes. In 2015, the FBI, admitted that an error in the background check system allowed Dylann Roof, convicted shooter at Mother Emanuel AME Church, to buy a gun after a three-day wait period.
According to a press release, the rally will also address domestic violence gun violence, officer-involved-shootings, black-on-black and white-on-white gun violence.
The rally is set to start in Marion Square at 2 p.m. and expected to close with a Memorial Celebration of Life where clergy from various denominations will pray with the homicide survivors and for our legislators who are working to close the loopholes.
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