PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The mass shooting that erupted on South Street Saturday night has stakeholders renewing calls for solutions to gun violence, a prolific problem in the city of Philadelphia.
"We are experiencing a slow-moving massacre that we pay the most attention to during these horrific mass shootings or a particularly horrific story," said Adam Garber, the executive director of CeaseFirePA.
Garber said the easy access to firearms will continue to destroy the city unless state and federal legislators take action. Garber suggests toughening up enforcement and making sure gun shops are selling guns legally.
"Treat them like a restaurant," said Garber. "Restaurants get inspected regularly. If they have rats, if they have other problems, they get shut down until they clean up. Gun stores get none of that. They barely get inspected at all, many not for years. And that means they can facilitate illegal transactions like straw purchases. They can be lax on things like background checks and they can ignore warning signs."
On Sunday night, Mayor Jim Kenney spoke about the mass shooting.
"It's gotten to the point where there's no price to pay for carrying illegal guns, so people carry them because they don't think anything is going to happen," said Kenney.
Under Pennsylvania law, no county, municipality or township can regulate ownership, possession or transfer of guns or ammunition. Historically, the courts have struck down efforts by Philadelphia City Council to ban assault weapons and limit handgun purchases.
Kenney continued by saying, "There seems to be a belief that these guys have that there's no price to pay for their activities, and that comes with the court system, it comes with the prosecution. Some of these guys have three, four, five different arrests for carrying an illegal firearm and they're still on the streets. That's got to be addressed."
Action News asked District Attorney Larry Krasner about the mayor's concerns. While Krasner came short of saying his office would implement new policies to keep these types of repeat offenders off the streets, he did say his office remains focused on dealing with every case on an individual basis.
"For some of them, we have to keep a close eye on them because they are capable of doing great violence. And for others, you're dealing with people who are law-abiding people who are themselves without getting the paperwork because they were scared and because they are fearful. We believe in individual justice. We will continue to pursue individual justice."
Philadelphia Controller Rebecca Rhynhart suggests the city invest in intervention programs that target specific neighborhoods where gun violence is most apparent.
"The mayor can direct services and just investment into the neighborhoods most impacted by the violence and the district attorney can enforce the gun laws on the books in a stronger way," said Rhynhart.
She said her office has done the research and laid the framework and said now city leaders need to work together immediately.
"We found that there are issues with arrest rates, which is on the police department. And also we found issues with the conviction rate on illegal carry. That the conviction rate of the illegal carry has gone down over the past few years," said Rhynhart. "That's a problem because the majority of urban gun violence occurs through illegal firearms."