Andy Bauman.

In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, a Sandy Springs councilmember plans to raise a discussion tonight about gun violence.

Andy Bauman, who represents District 6 in Sandy Springs, said he will make a presentation called “Beyond Thoughts and Prayers” at the June 7 City Council work session.

“Fortunately, our city is very safe, and we place the highest priority on supporting and fully funding our first responders: police, fire and EMT,” Bauman said in an email to Reporter Newspapers. “However, as we’ve seen, no community is immune. Sadly, these tragedies can occur anywhere.”

Bauman said his hope to is to start a conversation about what the City Council can do as policymakers that goes “above and beyond moments or silence and sending ‘thoughts and prayers’ to the victims of mass shootings.”

One idea he has is to consider a resolution to urge state and federal legislators to work together on a bipartisan basis to address gun safety laws and regulations; mental health intervention and treatment; and other root causes of violent crime.

Bauman is also suggesting that the City Manager and City Attorney make a report to the City Council about strategies, opportunities and resources for reducing gun violence and violent crime in Sandy Springs. That might include expanding gun safety and training classes. It could also include establishing or expanding the city’s partnerships with local schools, as well as with nearby cities, corporations, nonprofits and religious institutions.

Other strategies could include improving city communication about mental health services available to the community, or offering a city-sponsored program for citizens to safely dispose of firearms.

In addition, Bauman suggests working with owners and managers of multifamily communities, owners of commercial properties and neighborhood associations to help preserve the health and safety of the community. This could include public hearings or roundtable discussions, according to Bauman’s presentation.

“I acknowledge we have very few powers at the local level, as federal and state laws generally preempt whatever we might consider,” Bauman said.  “I also know that some of these issues are controversial, particularly around gun control and regulations. However, I personally want to do all I can to urge our state and federal legislators to work together, on a bipartisan basis. Beyond that, I am optimistic the Council can come together on some things we can do at the local level.”

The City Council work session begins at 6 p.m.

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.