Gov. Lee sets special session for late August in response to school shooting
Lee did not mention guns in a Monday press release announcing the special session.
Gov. Bill Lee, surrounded by Republican lawmakers during an April 3 press conference at which Lee announced he would direct funding towards school safety measures. (Photo:John Partipilo)
Five months after a shooter killed six people at The Covenant School in Nashville, Gov. Bill Lee will bring lawmakers back to Nashville to cobble together a solution to the mass murder.
Lee announced Monday he will call the General Assembly into a special session on Aug. 21 to bolster public safety and “preserve” constitutional rights. The governor floated a plan in late April to enact temporary orders of protection allowing law enforcement to confiscate weapons – once a due process hearing is held – from people deemed a risk to themselves and others.
The Republican-controlled Legislature took no action before the end of the session after the gun lobby opposed the governor’s plan and despite hundreds of people rallying in favor of gun-law reform at the Capitol.
Lee did not mention weapons in a Monday press release.
“There is broad agreement that action is needed, and in the weeks ahead, we’ll continue to listen to Tennesseans and pursue thoughtful, practical measures that strengthen the safety of Tennesseans, preserve Second Amendment rights, prioritize due process protections, support law enforcement and address mental health,” he said in a statement.
Lee said he would meet with lawmakers, advocacy groups and Tennessee residents over the summer to talk about solutions. He is expected to issue a formal call in advance of the session and encouraged people to send comments to https://stateoftennessee.formstack.com/forms/specialsession_public_safety.
Conservative Republicans are likely to oppose any sort of “order of protection” dealing with weapons, which is also referred to as a “red flag law.” Democrats and moderate Republicans are expected to back the governor’s plan, and some lawmakers are seeking even more restrictions such as tougher background checks and bans on military-style weapon sales.
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.