MEMPHIS, Tenn.–Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced the creation of the Shelby County Council on Gun Violence, a community-led initiative to discuss ways to improve gun safety.

City leaders say there is only one other program like this in the country.

“I’m optimistic that at the end of this we will see real and new innovative approaches,” Harris said.

As gun violence continues to wreak havoc across Shelby County, the newly formed group is looking to address the issue.

Jerri Green is one of the organizers.

“We are trying to start that conversation. We are trying to make sure that both people have access to the gun locks, gun storage, but also the information that they hear it from the people in their community,” Green said.

The council will meet at least twice a month. The group is expected to consist of people with diverse backgrounds and occupations.

“We want to get a large group from our community involved and a lot of voices,” Green said. “We do want to get people who are deeply involved and care directly about making a difference in this area.”

By the end of the program, a presentation will be given to the Shelby County commission where they could consider adopting various proposals. Mayor Harris said given the violence in the county, this initiative is needed now. He is also running for re-election.

“We believe this is the time to act. We have a lot of momentum that can be leveraged, we have a national movement that is happening right now before our eyes,” he said.

Shelby County residents interested in applying can apply online any time before July 15 here.