Jacksonville law firm running ads targeting assault weapon sales

Barnes & Cohen sponsors trio of ads calling for ban on sale of AR-15s

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A well-known Jacksonville law firm has sponsored a series of controversial television ads calling for a ban on the sale of assault weapons.

Attorneys with Barnes & Cohen told News4Jax that they don’t care if the trio of ads cost them business, because the message the commercials convey is too important.

In one ad, Glenn Cohen says the argument that a ban on the sale of weapons of war could affect the right to own any gun is a fallacy.

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“The AR-15 is designed for one purpose -- to deliver maximum killing power to our military in harm’s way,” Cohen says in the ad. “I don’t need one, and neither do you.”

Cohen told News4Jax that creating and airing the ads was “a no-brainer.”

“It’s time that all of us speak out. Not only for what we believe in, but for what our country and our children have been going through,” Cohen said.

Cohen said he and his partner, Chuck Barnes, have already heard from both sides. They're encouraged by the positive responses, but regardless of negative -- even nasty -- feedback, they will continue to air the ads.

One of the commercials features Barnes pointing to the deadly mass shooting at a Parkland high school as a tipping point in the assault weapon conversation.

“Enough is enough. Assault weapons are weapons of war. A hunter needs a rifle, a shotgun, not an AR- 15,” Barnes says in the ad. “It’s too late for 14 dead children and three dead teachers in Parkland, Florida, but you can make the difference now.”

Cohen said they hope the ads will make a difference.

“Maybe we will have some influence on some people to get involved and hopefully make change, like these kids are doing at Parkland and others all over the country,” Cohen said.

Gun rights attorney Eric Friday said he believes the premise of the Barnes & Cohen ads is wrong, saying the AR-15 is not a weapon used by the military. 

He argued the ads are politically motivated.

“Personal injury lawyers, as a general rule, vote Democrat,” Friday said. “I see this as nothing more than a campaign ad for the Democratic party to oppose a particular Republican senator.”

But Cohen countered.

“This isn’t politics, this is common sense,” he said.

The topic is certainly ripe for debate. Please feel free to watch the three ads in full below and then share your opinion in this article's comments section.

**App users, to watch the videos and comment, click here.**

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