TN Photo Services
Gov. Bill Lee is calling the Tennessee General Assembly back to Nashville this August to address gun laws.
The Tennessee General Assembly will reconvene for a special session on Aug. 21. Gov. Bill Lee announced the date of the session Monday, less than three weeks after the official legislative session ended early.
This summer session comes in response to the Covenant School shooting and follows weeks of rallies at the State Capitol for stricter gun laws.
Lee says that the session will “strengthen public safety and preserve constitutional rights.” The Republican governor has called for a stronger order of protection law. That would make it easier for police to take guns from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
There is broad agreement that action is needed & we’ll continue to listen to Tennesseans & pursue thoughtful, practical measures that strengthen their safety, preserve Second Amendment rights, prioritize due process protections, support law enforcement & address mental health.
— Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) May 8, 2023
His proposal for a strong “red flag” law has been met with resistance from gun rights groups. The head of the Tennessee Firearms Association called Lee’s efforts to get the measure through the legislature during the official session “the typical move of a tyrant.” The NRA encouraged its members to oppose the measure, and a more extreme group, the American Firearms Association, has advocated against it.
More: Tennesseans want gun reform, so why hasn’t the legislature gotten it done?
But a recent poll from Vanderbilt University shows a large majority of Tennesseans favor red flag laws, as well as tougher background checks for gun purchasers. The issue of guns now ranks alongside education and the economy as the most important for Tennesseans.
More: Latest Vanderbilt poll finds jump in support across Tennessee for more gun regulations
Ahead of the special session, Lee’s office has set up a website for Tennesseans to submit their comments. The website can be found here.