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Rep. Lamar sponsors HB 1830 declaring gun violence as a public health crisis

Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 4:56 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Finding a solution to gun violence is not easy task, but one Tennessee State representative is sponsoring a bill that would encourage a multi-agency approach to proactively reduce gun violence.

Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital reports a growing number of children are being treated for gunshot wounds in recent years – 132 in 2020 and 156 in 2021, seven in January of this year.

To address gun violence Tennessee State Representative London Lamar introduced House Bill 1830.

“This bill is to encourage a multi-agency approach to proactively reduce gun violence in our community because it is a public health crisis,” said Rep. Lamar.

The bill asks the State Health and Education Departments to generate research on the effects of gun violence in Tennessee.

It would also create programs to teach children conflict resolution methods that do not involve guns, but the bill did get some pushback.

“I’m hoping that has been somehow miss drafted that it wasn’t your intent to say that we should reduce the availability and distribution of legal firearms to law abiding citizens,” said Rep. William Lamberth.

“When you focus on and it seems that this whole discussion has been nothing more than gun violence, it makes me feel like, as a proud gun owner, and a proud Second Amendment person makes me feel like that you’re coming after my guns,” said Rep. Jerry Sexton.

Lamar said the bill does not seek to take away anyone’s legal rights or their legally owned weapons.

Dr. Regan Williams with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital said this week she’s frustrated with how easily children can get their hands on guns.

“It’s really disappointing. We know that having more access to guns is going to lead to more firearm injuries’, and as you said a lot of time these are conflicts between two adults,” said Williams.

Representative ended the discussion with a motion to roll the bill one week to make changes to the wording.

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