DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — About half the people came out to Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church Thursday evening raised their hands.

They did that because they have one thing in common — their lives have been impacted by gun violence.

“We have to bring dignity to the people that are dead,” one Durham resident said.

Thursday evening, the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People along with the Durham NAACP put on a forum to address ongoing problems surrounding gun violence.

Durham County Sheriff Clarence Birkhead along with some community leaders talked about what they are doing to slow down gun violence.

“I tell the county commissioners, chairman Howerton can attest, everything we do at the Durham County Sheriff’s Office is designed to save lives,” Birkhead mentioned.

Birkhead later said that last year, his office denied 130 gun permits.

For the majority of this forum, community members spent time expressing their concerns and frustrations.

Stop the Violence Forum (Nick Sturdivant/CBS 17)

“But if we were to go ahead and pay attention to what’s going on in the judicial system with property crimes. Property crimes are where it starts,” stated BJ Council, founder of the organization of You & Five-O.

“Not somebody taking someone’s cellphone. It’s knowing that I’m in a gang and that I’ll shoot you. That’s what bullying is for our kids,” another Durham resident said later in the forum.

Thursday’s forum was also an opportunity to ask questions. Especially for organizations wanting to provide resources to help move the community forward.

“How do we learn about these opportunities? How do we start to collaborate? We need to be proactive instead of reactive,” one woman said.

The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People said they want to hold similar forums in the near future to connect youth services to families in the area.