Tennessee House speaker discusses upcoming legislative session, says public safety is focus

Published: Jul. 20, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Public safety is the focus of the August special legislative session Governor Bill Lee has called in the wake of the Covenant School shooting in Nashville.

A mass shooting on the campus killed three children and three adults on March 27. The shooter was killed as well.

While many in the state have called for meaningful changes in gun laws, the Republican supermajority has refused to consider so-called “Red Flag Laws,” also known as orders of protection, that might prevent mentally ill people from obtaining firepower.

Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton says he believes lawmakers will close current loopholes in firearm background checks.

”... So, when you go to purchase a gun, we think it’s instantaneous,” Sexton said. “What we have found out is there’s 12 years of data that’s not in that database, so there are people that are currently able to purchase a gun that should not be able to purchase a gun.”

Sexton says even to this day, some court clerks across Tennessee are faxing information to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that would disqualify felons and mentally unfit individuals from gun purchases.

The House speaker says lawmakers will fix the data gap that involves thousands of cases over the last twelve years.

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