Lee did not mention guns in a Monday press release announcing the special session.
Photo: Gov. Bill Lee, surrounded by Republican lawmakers during an April 3 press conference at which Lee announced he would direct funding towards school safety measures. Photo Credit: John Partipilo
By Sam Stockard [Tennessee Lookout -CC BY-NC-ND 4.0] –
Five months after a shooter killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville, Gov. Bill Lee will bring lawmakers back to Nashville to cobble together a solution to the mass murder.
Lee announced Monday he will call the General Assembly into a special session on Aug. 21 to bolster public safety and “preserve” constitutional rights. The governor floated a plan in late April to enact temporary orders of protection allowing law enforcement to confiscate weapons – once a due process hearing is held – from people deemed a risk to themselves and others. However, the Republican-controlled Legislature took no action before the end of the general session.
Lee did not mention weapons in a Monday press release.
“There is broad agreement that action is needed, and in the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to listen to Tennesseans and pursue thoughtful, practical measures that strengthen the safety of Tennesseans, preserve Second Amendment rights, prioritize due process protections, support law enforcement and address mental health,” he said in a statement.
Lee said he would meet with lawmakers, advocacy groups and Tennessee residents over the summer to talk about solutions. He is expected to issue a formal call in advance of the session and encouraged people to send their comments HERE.
Conservative Republicans are likely to oppose any sort of “order of protection” dealing with firearms, which is also referred to as a “red flag law.” Democrats and moderate Republicans are expected to back the governor’s plan, and some lawmakers are seeking even more restrictions such as tougher background checks and bans on military-style firearm sales.
About the Author: Sam Stockard is a veteran Tennessee reporter and editor, having written for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, where he served as lead editor when the paper won an award for being the state’s best Sunday newspaper two years in a row. He has led the Capitol Hill bureau for The Daily Memphian. His awards include Best Single Editorial from the Tennessee Press Association. Follow Stockard on Twitter @StockardSam