Gun debate: Firearm rights attorney & reform advocate share their viewpoints

In the wake of the shooting in Buffalo, as well as others in the past week in Texas to California, President Joe Biden is pushing for change.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In the wake of the shooting in Buffalo, as well as others in the past week in Texas to California, President Joe Biden is pushing for change.

On Tuesday, after visiting the memorial site outside the Buffalo grocery store, Biden talked about fighting domestic terrorism, ending white supremacy and improving gun reform, including getting rid of what he calls assault weapons.

This has reignited the gun debate across the United States.

As Biden and other leaders visited the site of this year’s deadliest mass shooting, people are calling for change.

“Our country’s bleeding. These tragedies happen every single day, and it’s incredibly heartbreaking. It’s very frustrating because it’s preventable,” said gun reform advocate Latasha Hobbs.

Hobbs knows gun violence first hand. Her son, Maurice Hobbs, was shot and killed in 2017 in Jacksonville. The case is still unsolved.

“Oh, it’s so easy,” Hobbs said. “It’s too easy to access guns.”

Hobbs has been vocal about gun reform. She wants universal background checks and more measures in place to flag those with mental health problems -- limiting access to guns.

“To have a firearm, to be in possession of a firearm comes with great responsibility,” Hobbs said. “And not everybody’s responsible enough to handle a firearm like that.”

The gun debate is nothing new. It’s been around since the Second Amendment was first drafted. And in Florida, there’s no exception. People are very passionate on both sides of the issue, with many trying to make a change in Florida.

“If we were really serious about preventing these types of cases, we would be identifying and actually treating these people who we believe are a danger. But we are not. We are identifying them and putting them on a list because it makes people feel good,” said Eric Friday, a constitutional attorney with Florida Carry.

Friday pushes for gun rights and says Biden’s plans to prevent shootings aren’t working.

“The answer quite simply, as well in law enforcement, know somebody is in danger, use the legal process in place. We were told that red flag laws were the cure for mass shooters who had mental health issues. They identified him as having a mental health issue and apparently appeared to have not proceeded to get the very court orders they said would stop these things,” Friday said.

Friday says Biden’s call for a ban on so-called assault weapons, which Friday refers to as sporting rifles, is unconstitutional -- something he says gun rights lawyers like himself would fight.

About the Author:

Lifetime Jacksonville resident anchors the 8 and 9 a.m. weekday newscasts and is part of the News4Jax I-Team.