Juvenile Court working on new gun program

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SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. -- Youth violence is a problem in Memphis. Already this year, six kids have been killed violently, more were shot and some pulled the trigger.

Parents told WREG part of the problem is that kids can get a gun easily on the streets.

"It does concern me though. It does concern me," said parent Tali Crawford.

Shelby County Schools said 23 middle school students and 39 high school students were caught with a weapon this school year.

"These are very difficult problems to stop," said Shelby County Juvenile Court Judge Dan Michael.

He said he's working with the District Attorney's office to crack down on the problem and hopes to unveil a new gun program by the end of the month

Basically, he said when kids get caught carrying a weapon, they'll soon have to sit through a class with their parents.

"It's about a two to three hour program that is presented to parents and children about gun issues," said Judge Michael.

It's all in the works, but WREG is told it's based off a federal program called Gun Down, which is geared towards adults, and it's been evaluated and is effective.

"This will be the first time they've ever done that. It will be here in juvenile court," said Judge Michael.

WREG reached out to Memphis Gun Down and the D.A.'s office, but no one was available to talk.

Judge Michael said he's talked to Mayor Jim Strickland about the youth violence problem, but has yet to sit down at the table with him to find solutions.

He plans to do so by the end of the month.

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