A Mahoning Valley religious group is the latest organization to speak up against stopping gun violence. 

The Mahoning Valley Association of Churches is demanding that lawmakers immediately act to pass legislation restricting the use of guns - specifically assault weapons.

“A waiting period after you apply to purchase a gun, changing the age from 18 to 21, not allowing people who had any kind of violence in their past, whether is be domestic violence or whatever to be able to purchase a gun,” Penny Wells, a MVAC Board member and Mahoning Valley Sojourn into the Past said about some of the things they want to be included in laws for Ohio.

Wells said she also wants more counseling for kids with trauma to be available so they don’t turn to violence. 

“We need to be safe,” John Paul Robles, a member of MVAC said. “We need to have better laws so that our young people are protected.” 

Representative Lauren McNally recognizes gun violence is an issue in her district which includes the City of Youngstown and supports MVAC speaking out against to violence.

“Who is getting hit the worst? It’s the kids,” she said. “The kids are dying and we need to stop that somehow.”  

She supports legislation that promotes gun safety but said she also wants to respect people's right to have guns.

“Allowing people who are responsible gun owners to enjoy what comes with that and what they like to do with those guns,” McNally said. 

While hoping for better laws, the association of churches also urges people in the Valley to resolve their conflict nonviolently.

“Violence is kind of at the center of the one who we form our worship around so non violence really is the call to love. To love our neighbor, to love even our enemies,” Robles said. 

Mahoning Valley Sojourn into the Past holds several events to raise awareness for violence in the valley. 

They will be bringing in specialty councilor Latoya Logan to speak to Youngstown City schools staff on Sept. 25 about how to help kids with trauma. Later that night Logan will be speaking at St Paul's Episcopal Church for the public. 

On October 1, there will be a Ohio non violence parade and rally. This will be the 13th annual parade and kicks off Ohio non violence week.