Tuesday, October 3, 2023
HomeTop NewsTN legislature special session addresses safety, guns

TN legislature special session addresses safety, guns

Tennessee lawmakers return to the state Capitol at present to start out a particular session centered on public security and psychological well being.

Gov. Invoice Lee known as the Normal Meeting again to work within the wake of the Covenant College capturing in March, which left six individuals lifeless. All summer time, teams have weighed in on the problem, with many urging the governor and lawmakers to behave.

Observe alongside for updates all through the day as Tennesseans rally for change and lawmakers gavel in at 4 p.m. CT.

Demonstrators march alongside Rep. Justin Pearson for his swearing in

A big gathering of demonstrators, together with Mothers Demand Motion, the Fairness Alliance and extra marched from the First Baptist Church, Capitol Hill to the Capitol with Rep. Justin Pearson on the helm.

Demonstrators within the march carried quite a few indicators supporting gun laws and reform, in addition to displaying their help for the Tennessee Three as they escorted Pearson to the Capitol for his swearing in.

Pearson was expelled in April, reappointed on an interim foundation and reelected earlier this month.

The huge line was led by a troupe of musicians taking part in a gentle, rousing rhythm, akin to a heartbeat, as they moved to climb the numerous steps into the Capitol. 

— Angele Latham, The Tennessean

Home considers new proposed guidelines of decorum

Forward of the session gaveling in, Home management circulated proposed new guidelines of order for the particular session, a few of which look like aimed toward stopping disruptions just like the gun-control protest led by Reps. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, and Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, from the Home ground in April.

Below the proposed guidelines, members can be prohibited from utilizing “voice or noise amplification units,” (like a bullhorn), sporting or possessing a microphone throughout official proceedings, and utilizing any digital system “that impairs decorum.”

Members might additionally face not being known as on to talk in the event that they trigger “a cloth disruption of legislative enterprise,” fail to remain on subject, or “impugn the status” of one other member of the Home.

Disrupting Home proceedings might end in an unruly member being barred from talking for 3 days (for a primary offense) to “the rest of the annual session” (for a 3rd offense).

Throughout debate, any member whose feedback “fail to strictly conform to the query,” would forfeit the remainder of their time on that invoice. Repeated off-topic feedback on the identical legislative day might end in that member being barred from debate for the remainder of the day, or longer.

Members decided disorderly or impugning one other member would nonetheless be allowed to vote, however additional disciplinary measures “together with censure or expulsion” would additionally nonetheless be on the desk.

“Which is stunning to assume that a complete district can be silenced — that’s 70,000 individuals being successfully silenced by the discretion of 1 particular person within the speaker’s chair. That’s regarding,” stated Home Democratic Caucus Chair John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville. ”I’ve by no means seen guidelines like these proposed in america of America.”

The Home will contemplate the proposed guidelines it convenes at 4 p.m. CT.

— Vivian Jones and Angele Latham, The Tennessean

Evelyn Dieckhaus’ mom pleads for change

Katy Dieckhaus, the mom of Covenant sufferer Evelyn Dieckhaus, emotionally addressed a gaggle of citizen advocates on the Belcourt Theater with Voices for a Safer Tennessee.

She and her husband Mike started assembly with lawmakers over the summer time to prioritize conversations over the “noise” that may takeover the talk.

“I perceive that feeling of desirous to scream, however we have now to work collectively and we have now to not be fearful of those excessive noises,” Dieckhaus stated. “So many individuals wish to see change, and so many individuals deserve respect.”

She urged the gang to proceed advocating for gun security, displaying an image of Evelyn to the gang.

“We miss her each second of day-after-day,” Dieckhaus stated. “We don’t need different individuals to undergo this.”

— Melissa Brown, The Tennessean

On the bottom:‘We don’t need different individuals to undergo this’: Tennessee advocates push for gun reform as lawmakers return

Voices for a Safer Tennessee: Main change might not come

Round 200 individuals gathered throughout city on the Belcourt Theater for a legislative briefing held by Voices for a Safer Tennessee, a nonpartisan advocacy group based within the wake of the Covenant capturing. The group not too long ago introduced a high-powered board of administrators that features former Republican U.S. Sen. Invoice Frist.

The group has amassed 20,000 supporters, a lot of whom should not have political expertise or expertise following laws.

A panel cautioned individuals that main legislative adjustments might not come out of the particular session, however they have been inspired Gov. Invoice Lee did name the session and a statewide dialog is going on.

“The lengthy recreation is essential,” lobbyist Brian Bivens advised the gang.

— Melissa Brown, The Tennessean

State trooper patrols improve forward of particular session at state Capitol

In anticipation of crowds this week, there’s a noticeably bigger presence of State Troopers on the Capitol advanced and Cordell Hull Legislative Workplace Constructing.

Patrols are stationed inside most entrances to the Capitol, and there are 4 troopers posted within the tunnel connecting the 2 buildings – the place there’s normally just one. At midday, no less than 18 troopers may very well be seen posted on the primary and second flooring of the Capitol, at entrances and the rotunda.

Pathways to permit site visitors circulation are cordoned off on the primary and second flooring, to permit members and workers to maneuver freely from elevators to chambers in a large avenue. In April, when protestors stuffed the Capitol outdoors the Home and Senate chambers, troopers lined as much as open a path by means of the gang to permit lawmakers to go to enter and exit the chambers.

There’s considerably much less room for the crowds to pack on this time round.

— Vivian Jones, The Tennessean

Covenant mother to far-right group: ‘Do you even know the place you might be?”

As demonstrations continued outdoors the Capitol, a small debate unfolded between a Covenant mother and members of the far-right Proud Boys.

Sarah Shoop Neumann, a mom of a Covenant College pupil who has turn out to be outspoken in pushing for gun reform since March, debated with the masked males after one advised her to “thank God for the Covenant (capturing).”

“What might we have now executed? What’s your resolution to those shootings?” she requested.

“The cops ought to have gone in,” the person stated. “Isn’t this the one the place the cops wouldn’t go in?”

“That’s Uvalde!” Neumann stated, as he waved dismissively. “Do you even know the place you might be?”

— Angele Latham, The Tennessean

‘What I’ve to do’: Activists condemn some GOP payments

A crowd of practically 50 packed into the small press room within the Cordell Hull Legislative Workplace Constructing, and extra spilled outdoors into the corridor, as survivors of gun violence condemned payments that will ship 16-year-old defendants to grownup courtroom and permit academics to hold weapons.

The group, organized by Mothers Demand Motion, known as for preventative laws.

Anna Caudill, an in depth buddy of head of Covenant College Katherine Koonce, who was killed in the course of the capturing in March, stated lawmakers are “solely as hamstrung as they wish to be” by the Second Modification.

“I’m actually involved about this particular session. Punishing our youngsters for weapons being the No. 1 killer of youngsters isn’t the precise reply,” she stated.

“It will not finish till Tennessee lawmakers worth the sanctity of youngsters’s holy lives, created in God’s personal picture, greater than they worth the weapons of battle,” Caudill stated. “A properly regulated militia would not homicide kids at college.”

Shaundelle Brooks, the mom of Akilah Dasilva, who was shot and killed at an Antioch Waffle Home in 2018, described how every one in every of her kids have since additionally been a sufferer of gun violence: one other son was shot within the head in June and one other baby needed to take cowl in the course of the Covenant capturing.

“This isn’t what I wish to do, however it’s what I’ve to do,” Brooks stated. “I’m drained and weary, however nonetheless filled with anger. Myself and so many different survivors throughout Tennessee have discovered a solution to hold going, hold pushing and hold advocating. I’ll by no means cease preventing for my kids. However lawmakers: it’s time so that you can begin preventing.”

Organizer Carol Buckley Fraizer stated Gov. Invoice Lee’s proclamation outlining parameters for the session “not solely falls immensely quick,” but additionally enabled proposals to push for academics to be armed, one thing she known as “callous, irresponsible, and harmful.”

Actress Melissa Joan Hart recalled serving to a kindergarten class from the Covenant College escape to security.

“We aren’t asking you to take weapons out of the fingers of legislation abiding residents, we’re asking you to take steps towards holding them out of the fingers of those that are deemed harmful home abusers, individuals with felony information, individuals experiencing psychological well being disaster,” she stated, her voice stuffed with emotion. “Our cries aren’t being heard, and our youngsters are listening to the burden.”

Exterior the press room, a memorial honoring the lives of individuals killed by weapons in Tennessee is ready up alongside a hallway the place lawmakers stroll by on their solution to the state Capitol. Playing cards displayed the names and ages of victims, alongside a frameless candle, which set a somber tone within the dim hallway.

— Vivian Jones, The Tennessean

Public entry to tunnel between Cordell Hull, state Capitol to be restricted

Hours forward of the official kickoff of the particular legislative session, a number of members of legislative management —together with Home Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, Home Majority Chief William Lamberth, R-Portland, Home Majority Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Home Minority Caucus Chairman John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville — began the day on the Future Farmers of America Ham Breakfast on the Tennessee State Honest in Lebanon.Gov. Invoice Lee kicked off the occasion with remarks that made no point out of the legislature’s enterprise or efforts to extend public security.

Whereas rumors are swirling across the Capitol that the Senate might adjourn its enterprise on Monday, a number of members advised the Tennessean that they don’t assume that may occur.

In the meantime, Sexton confirmed that public entry to the Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey Tunnel between the Cordell Hull Legislative Workplace Constructing and the state Capitol might be closed for half-hour previous to session starting, and half-hour after adjournment, for security causes.

Choices on entry for that tunnel entrance are made by legislative management, however different entrances to the Capitol are managed by the Governor’s workplace, Sexton stated. The choice to briefly shut the tunnel was made in coordination with the Tennessee Division of Security and the Tennessee Freeway Patrol.

“Final time what occurred was it turned an unsafe atmosphere,” Sexton stated, of the tunnel. “It’s about security and the way many individuals can safely be within the constructing at one time.”

Requested whether or not he feels closing the tunnel will restrict public entry, he famous that different entrances will stay open.

“I don’t know the way we’re limiting it if we’re nonetheless permitting them to come back in,” he stated.

Sexton stated he’s ready to order Home galleries cleared, as is typical process when of spectators turn out to be unruly or disruptive throughout Home session.

“That’s on the individuals who wish to attend,” he stated. “We’ll see.”

— Vivian Jones, The Tennessean

Covenant dad and mom endorse payments

A bunch of Covenant dad and mom endorsed 10 payments forward of the particular session by means of the Covenant Households Motion Fund, a 501(c)4 group advocating for gun security reform.

Among the many payments is HB 7100 by Rep. Bob Freeman, D-Nashville, to determine a brief switch legislation to briefly block a harmful particular person from accessing firearms. The trouble is unlikely to go with out Republican help, and GOP lawmakers have staunchly refused to take action. The Motion Fund additionally endorsed HB 7075 from Freeman, which requires anybody buying a gun or making use of for a handgun allow to signal an affidavit swearing to safe the gun when not carrying it. 

The group endorses HB 7002, 7007 and 7012, from Home Majority Chief William Lamberth, R-Portland. Lamberth’s payments require sure faculty security procedures, block public entry to post-mortem stories of minor crime victims and supply free firearm locks to Tennesseans, along with introduce tax exemptions on gun safes and different security units.

Two payments from interim Rep. Anthony Davis and Sen. Jeff Yarbro, each Nashville Democrats, additionally acquired their stamp of approval. The 2 search to require the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations to enter felony information into background examine databases inside 30 days of receiving the information, in HB 7037.  Their second invoice, HB 7047, would create a felony offense for highway rage incidents involving firearms.

Different payments embody establishing a voluntary “don’t promote” firearms record, exempt individuals from civil damages arising from a gun stolen from a secured car and making a grant program to fund faculty alarm programs.

The Motion Fund criticized the psychological well being provisions which were launched up to now.

“We’re disenchanted within the lack of sources going to psychological well being wants in Tennessee,” stated Sarah Shoop Neumann, father or mother of a Covenant College pupil, “If we wish to enhance the psychological well being of Tennesseans we have now to spend money on fixing the basis of the issue itself.”

— Melissa Brown, The Tennessean

Learn extra in regards to the filed payments right here:Particular session in Tennessee on public security, weapons: See the payments launched up to now

Proud Boys make a displaying at state Capitol

A few dozen Proud Boys, a far-right extremist group, walked to the Capitol on Monday dressed of their normal black shirts and yellow equipment carrying flags.

The group regarded on as a prayer vigil, with attendees hand in hand, wrapped across the Capitol. They then unfurled a yellow banner close to the Capitol that stated “Smashville” throughout the entrance.

— Kirsten Fiscus, The Tennessean

Rev. Francisco Garcia: Bear in mind the victims

A prayer vigils wrapped around the Tennessee state Capitol in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, Aug. 21, 2023. A special legislative session starts at 4 p.m. CT.

An interdenominational set of three clergy opened a gathering outdoors the Capitol in prayer and explicitly condemned gun violence and prayed for gun reform.

“Bear in mind for whom you got here,” the Rev. Francisco Garcia stated, alluding to victims and survivors of gun violence.

Equally, the Rev. Dahron Johnson known as out weapons for killing members of the neighborhood “too typically and too quickly.”

And the Rev. Stephen Hardy stated, “We gained’t let ignorance prevail.”

After, the gang processed to the Capitol signing “This Little Mild.” The Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, one of many organizers of the vigil, reminded attendees originally of an analogous prayer occasion months in the past, the Ethical Monday March led by the Rev. William Barber II.

When individuals reached the Capitol, they filed across the perimeter and fashioned a series. The group then despatched prayer all through the chain like an electrical present. When one particular person prayed, both aloud or quietly on their very own, they squeezed the hand of the particular person subsequent to them to sign and ship the prayer alongside.

— Liam Adams, The Tennessean

Prayer occasion at state Capitol

To usher within the particular session on a contemplative notice, a whole bunch gathered at outdoors the state Capitol for a prayer vigil. Among the many crowd have been clergy and lay leaders, neighborhood members sporting purple “Mothers Demand Motion” shirts, and medical professionals donning their garb.

Attendees carried indicators saying “lax legal guidelines lack sense,” “it’s the weapons” and “love your neighbor regulate weapons.”

— Liam Adams, The Tennessean

Nashville mayoral candidate Alice Rolli combined on filed payments

Alice Rolli has combined emotions in regards to the laws filed forward of the particular session.

On one hand, Rolli applauded the payments filed to enhance entry and availability of psychological well being companies in addition to secure gun storage, however stated the legislature has fallen quick on gun entry in sure circumstances.

“Like many Tennesseans, I’m disenchanted we aren’t but contemplating an excessive danger possibility,” she stated in a press release. “If we have now discovered a solution to briefly separate a father or mother experiencing a psychological well being disaster or drug habit from their baby, it appears to me we ought to have the ability to determine a solution to briefly separate a person experiencing a psychological well being disaster or drug habit from their firearms.”

— Kirsten Fiscus, The Tennessean

Home and Senate laws

All eyes may very well be on the Senate this week.

Though greater than 100 items of laws have been launched up to now within the Home, solely 11 payments have each a Home and Senate sponsors, as of Monday morning.

This may very well be an indication the Senate intends to maintain the session extra centered.

A proposed Senate calendar launched final week exhibits an 8:30 a.m. CT ground session on Tuesday, then back-to-back committee conferences by means of Wednesday. Closing votes might happen at a morning ground session on Thursday.

Exterior of the ground session at present at 4 p.m. CT to start the particular session, the Home has not posted its proposed schedule for the week.

— Duane W. Gang, The Tennessean

Compensate for the gun-reform debate




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