Renewed call for Jacksonville leaders to address gun violence

Representatives from activist groups meet at City Hall

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Representatives of Jacksonville activist organizations once again took to the steps of City Hall on Monday voicing their concerns over repeated gun violence plaguing the city.

Two more names, Elijah Clayton and Taylor Robertson, were added to MAD DADS' board remembering those who lost their lives to violent crime. Both were killed in the mass shooting Sunday at the Jacksonville Landing.

"There's no reason for anyone to go pull a gun and just start spraying it ... hitting innocent people," said Warren Fulwiley with the crime-fighting group MAD DADS "It's nonsense, strictly nonsense."

Bonnie Hendrix with the Women's March of Jacksonville wants leaders to take the so-called "gun show loophole" out of the city.

"To essentially prevent the private sale of weapons on public land, public property and in a public access area unless there are background checks and a waiting period," Hendrix said.

"Gun show loophole" refers to the sale of firearms by private sellers, including those sold at gun shows, that are exempt from federal background check requirements. 

Lastasha Hobbs takes the issue personally. She lost her son to gun violence.

"Because of senseless gun violence in Jacksonville, Florida, my son will forever be 18 (years old) and I have a problem with that," Hobbs said.

Joyce Blackwell, another concerned mother, stood with her 10-year-old son Quinton during the meeting. Blackwell fears for her son's safety after the recent spate of violence.

"He needs to see what’s going on in the city of Jacksonville about this violence," Blackwell said. "About six or seven more years -- by the time he’s in high school I really want a lot off this stuff to end.”

Activists will attend a Jacksonville City Council meeting Wednesday night. A march and vigil are planned for the same night at the Landing.

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