Republican Tenn. lawmakers show support for Gov. Lee’s gun reform proposal

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 7:23 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Two Republican lawmakers from Memphis say they plan to support Governor Bill Lee’s gun reform proposal once the special session is called.

Gov Lee called for that special session as a way to bring about meaningful gun reform in the wake of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville.

Representative John Gillespie from Memphis said it’s a no-brainer.

“We have to put some sort of checks in place on people who are deemed a threat to themselves and to society,” Gillespie said on Monday.

Lee’s plan, called an “order of protection law,” would allow law enforcement to petition the court for a temporary mental health order of protection for someone who poses a substantial threat by having access to guns or ammo.

Gillespie believes that these restrictions in no way infringe on the Second Amendment rights of Tennesseans.

“I’m not out to get your guns,” Gillespie said. “But if you have a proven mental health issue and you are threatening people, then I believe the government should step in, and we have an obligation to step in and protect everyone else.”

Representative Mark White, who represents Tennessee’s 83rd District, joins Gillespie in going against the tide and says he’s ready to reconvene the General Assembly to support Governor Lee’s proposed legislation.

“I’m ready to go back into the special session to look at everything,” White told Action News 5. “I think we owe it to the citizens of Tennessee to do something.”

Both representatives say they’re not sure if the special session will yield any results, but they can’t choose inaction anymore.

“I think we’re in an important time that we can’t keep doing what we’re doing,” Rep. White said.

“Action has to take place. That’s where the majority of the country is and that’s where I am going to go,” said Rep. Gillespie.

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