SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Following a violent weekend in the Hostess City, Mayor Van Johnson says he’s ready to do what it takes to keep Savannah safe.
Johnson is admittedly concerned with the number of shootings taking place in some of Savannah’s most highly trafficked areas. So concerned, that he’s proposing a possible curfew for downtown businesses to limit the potential for any more late night violence.
“To be honest, we cannot control the number of guns in our city but we can control the hours and the activity of our nightlife downtown, and if I have to institute curfews to limit crowds, to reduce the potential for shooting incidents, then I am willing to consider that,” Johnson explained.
This comes just days following a string of downtown shootings in Savannah, including the city’s 5th officer-involved shooting of the year and an overnight shooting in City Market that left three people hurt.
According to Johnson, Georgia’s constitutional carry law is to blame.
“We cannot control that when you have a situation of gunfire, everyone’s pulling out guns,” Johnson said. “This handcuffs our law enforcement efforts and it makes all of our public areas at any time a potential crime scene.”
With a busy 4th of July weekend on the horizon, Johnson says the Savannah Police Department will be out in full force all across the city to ensure that tourists and locals are staying safe.
“We do big parties all the time, so there’s a plan in place. It’s a plan that works, now we have a new wrinkle of this constitutional carry in here so they’ll make adjustments. We won’t panic, we’ll work the plans that we have,” Johnson said.
The Mayor says he will soon meet with tourism and business leaders about the possibility of implementing the curfew, as well as what other options may be on the table.