ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester City Councilman, and mayoral candidate, Malik Evans held a press conference on Friday to introduce his plan to address gun violence in the City of Rochester

Evans is set to face off against Mayor Lovely Warren in next month’s Democratic primary.

“Today we want to talk about gun violence in Rochester and what we will do as mayor when we take office within our first 100 days as it relates to gun violence,” Evans said.

Last week, Evans said to address the youth violence, he proposed a work program for kids as well as the expansion of teen court. Evans said since his announcement last week, 11 people have been shot.

“This is a major issue for this campaign it will be again one of the top priorities,” Malik said. “Last week it was the youth opportunity agenda this week its illegal guns. We have to keep the focus on the challenges that we have here in this community because if we do not, we will continue to see lives lost and lives destroyed.”

Evans said there are five key things that relate to his gun violence agenda:

  1. Push for the passing of legislation which requires semi automatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any license dealer in this state to be capable of microstamping ammunition
  2. Appoint a gun czar reporting directly to the mayor
  3. Get an update from the attorney general’s office on gun trafficking report
  4. Declare a gun emergency
  5. Call on federal partners to do universal background checks, make gun trafficking a federal crime and expand access to trace data

“We will appoint a gun czar reporting directly to the mayor,” Evans said. “This will be a national search. It is imperative that we have someone in this community strictly focus on gun and gun violence.”

Evans said that by declaring a gun emergency, he will work with other cities experiencing similar issues to put pressure on federal government and the ATF.

“When does Rochester get to be put first? When do the citizens of Rochester get to be put first? We need to focus on the citizens in Rochester and they need to be put first, the challenges is that it cannot be about the politicians and when it becomes about the politicians, we have to wonder how effective we are going to be as a city.” 

Evans says he has not spoken with the mayor yet in regards to her husband being faced with drugs and weapons charges, but he says he doesn’t plan to either.

The councilman says this issue is a family matter that needs to be tended to. He also told News 8 Thursday that he didn’t have all the details yet, and needs to revisit some of the information that is out there.

“The city cannot use any distractions right now,” Evans said. “We’re coming out of COVID. We have a lot of trust to rebuild as it relates to Daniel Prude. We’ve seen the highest levels of violence in our city. Over 130, 140 shootings in the last five months this year. So we need to get focused on the issued at hand like a laser, and that’s what we’re focusing on with this campaign. That’s what we’re going to continue to focus on.”

Primary elections are set to take place on June 22.

Warren and Evans are scheduled to go head-to-head in a debate on News 8 WROC. The debate is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25. The debate will be televised live on air, as well as live streamed on this website.

Watch the full press conference here: