Federal grant money to help hire gun prosecutor in Clay, Duval & Nassau counties

A new resource to stop violence

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — More than $350,000 in federal grant money will go to three local counties to fight gun-related crimes.

The announcement comes as Jacksonville faces one of the most violent months so far this year.

So far eight people, including a child, were shot this week in separate shootings in Arlington.

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Last month, Action News Jax showed you how State Attorney Melissa Nelson announced her office would seek longer sentences for certain felons facing gun crimes.

Now her office is getting more money to continue the fight.

The Department of Justice said it’ll provide $356,196 in grant funding to hire a special prosecutor whose job will be to try firearms cases in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties in federal court.

“That is an excellent way to make certain individuals who should not have firearms and yet possess them still serve a significant amount of time,” said Dale Carson.

Action News Jax Law and Safety expert Dale Carson said not every firearms case will qualify.

“If you commit a murder and it is not a murder on federal property or has some interstate aspect of it, the federal government has no jurisdiction and therefore, they can’t prosecute that in federal district court,” said Carson.

Carson said this effort won’t be a quick fix but believes it will send a strong message.

“Once that information penetrates the criminal community, they’ll be less inclined to use firearms but by-and-large it’s not going to stop it but it is a step in the right direction,” said Carson.