(VitalNews.org) – Left-wing protesters in support of gun control confronted GOP lawmakers after a Monday meeting by the Tennessee General Assembly which held a special session to address “public safety.”
The meeting was called by GOP Gov. Bill Lee to discuss public safety in the wake of the mass shooting in March that left three staff members and three 9-year-old children dead after Audrey Hale, who identified as transgender, busted into The Covenant School and opened fire. Since the massacre, Lee has been advocating for some kind of red flag law to try and stop similar crimes in the future.
Earlier this month, Lee proclaimed the August sessions would deal with guidelines for gun storage, red flag laws, human trafficking, and the mental health epidemic.
In April, the Tennessee governor proposed a red flag law in which “physical possession of all firearms and ammunition” would be terminated for any individual who is issued “a temporary mental health order of protection.” Such an issuance would mean the individual has to transfer their firearms and ammo out of their possession “by any lawful means” within 48 hours, which includes transferring them into the hands of “a third party” permitted to possess them.
The Tennessee House GOP did not respond well to the proposed amendment.
While the August 21 Senate meeting only lasted around 20 minutes, the House session lasted nearly two hours, after which a movement to end the session came from GOP Sen. Janice Bowling who said no additional meeting was necessary. The House debated on new disciplinary rules for disruptive members, which received backlash from Democrat lawmakers. The debate stems from the previous expulsion of Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones for protesting in favor of gun control earlier this year, who have both since been reinstated. During the recent House session, Jones accused House Speaker Cameron Sexton of racism.
In a vote of 73-23, the new rules were passed, which GOP Rep. Gino Bulso said would “provide equality for 99 members” representing the citizens of Tennessee, and that any member who cannot conduct themselves “with civility” should “sit down.”
Republican lawmakers were greeted by protesters who chanted and screamed at them as they exited the House floor. Some held signs demanding gun reform and to “protect kids, not guns.”
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