Image Credit: Gov. Bill Lee / Facebook
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
“I think something we can all agree on is that a person who is a threat to themselves or a threat to others should not have access to weapons,” Governor Lee said during a press conference on April 3rd.
That statement is almost verbatim of the intent of a “Red Flag” law which is defined as a gun violence prevention law that permits a state court to order the temporary removal of firearms from a person who they believe may present a danger to others or themselves.
However, Lee also indicated that he has a keen interest in “protecting the Constitutional rights” of Tennesseans including the persons who would be affected by whatever laws are put forth.
Lee stated that he anticipates that over the next few weeks, the administration and the legislature will be looking at legislation already in place around the country to “make sure that those who are a threat to our people, to our children do not have access to weapons, protecting the Constitutional Rights of Tennesseans at the same time. That is the way forward.”
A reporter asked Lee that if he decided to go the “Red Flag Law” route and received pushback from gun advocate groups like the NRA, what would be his response.
Lee sidestepped the question by saying, “The term Red Flag Laws means a lot of things to a lot of different people… I’m looking for answers to separate dangerous people from firearms and protect Constitutional rights. It is very important that we do that. Whatever it’s called, that’s what it should accomplish.”
The reporter asked if there is a state that handles the situation in the “right way.”
Lee answered, “I think that’s one of the things we’ve got to look at over the next few days is the number of options that are out there, what are best practices and what works best for our state.”
Lee stated that he wants a “thoughtful, practical solution” that “we can agree on.”
Another reporter questioned Lee about Senator Gardenhire’s statement that he would not hear any more gun legislation in the Senate Judiciary Committee (of which Gardenhire is the Chair) during this session and Lee replied that hadn’t yet spoken to him about altering his stance.
House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville-District 25) also appears open to passing a law that could remove firearms from someone believed to be a danger to themselves or to other people.
However, Sexton has also expressed doubt over whether a red flag law could have prevented the slaying at the Christian schools, but stated that the General Assembly should be open to having a conversation about it.
McNally says he would support such a law providing there are safeguards included to protect against false reports.
The Tennessee Conservative will be following any legislation that may infringe upon Tennessean’s Constitutional rights and keep you updated.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com