Local mom raising awareness for gun violence among juveniles

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - "You pull a gun, you show a gun, you can just have it at school and that's ten years," Panama City Mom Lakenya Barnes said.

10-20-life is a law regarding the use of a firearm during a felony.

"Our legislature has determined that if a person uses a firearm during the commission of certain crimes, that they are going to be punished severely for that. The type of crimes that we're talking about are murder, sexual battery, robbery... things of that nature," Chief Assistant for the State Attorney's Office Larry Basford said.

The laws name comes from a set of three basic sentences. Pull a gun and serve ten years. Fire a gun and serve 20 years. Shoot a gun and cause injury or death, serve 25-to-life.

"The ten-20-life law also applies to juveniles..." Basford said.

After recent incidents at local schools, one Panama City mom, Lakenya Barnes, is working on raising awareness.

Barnes said, "I partnered up with my cousin, who has her associate degree in criminology and she's also a counselor to see how we can move forward with not being reactive all the time, but being proactive."

In an effort to raise awareness about 10-20-life, Mrs. Barnes and local high-schoolers will be placing flyers on cars around town.

The flyers say, "the child you save may be your own."

"I want the children to know that you are affecting your mothers and fathers, your grandmothers, your brothers and sisters when you are in jail or you have killed someone or someone is passed away from this situation," Barnes said.

"It's been in effect for over 15 years, however some of the students coming up in high school or middle school may be unaware of that and it would be a good thing if all of them were made aware of this," Basford said.

Barnes is also efforting an educational pep rally to keep teens informed.