Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee has been conspicuous in his absence from the special legislative session that he called, but that hasn’t stopped him from pushing for more stringent gun control laws.
Lee called the gathering in the wake of a transgender shooter murdering six at Nashville’s Covenant School in March, including three children. He caved to Democratic pressure and expressed support for new so-called “red flag” laws.
In announcing the session, he declared the state had “an obligation to remind people that we should set aside politics and pride and accomplish something.”
NAGR's Jacob Maerli is on the scene at the Tennessee Special Session fighting any and all Gun Control attempts!
There are various plots to pass "Red Flag" Gun Confiscation and NICS expansion by Gov. Bill Lee and his cohorts.
NAGR will be in Nashville until the fight is won! pic.twitter.com/mmQ67299wg
— National Association for Gun Rights (@NatlGunRights) August 21, 2023
As with most gun control proponents, that “something” turned out to be anything that suppresses gun rights for law-abiding citizens.
The session was scheduled to end on Aug. 24, but it was extended for at least a day. The staunchly red state will thankfully not see Second Amendment rights stripped away, but that did not stop Lee from continuing his call to do “something.”
When the extra time was announced, Lee issued a statement. “While the legislative process continues, I’m confident that both chambers can work together and make meaningful progress in this special session on public safety.”
Before the session, Lee publicly advocated for new gun control legislation that proponents say keeps firearms out of the hands of people dangerous to themselves or others. Critics charge that the laws are easily weaponized and deny due process rights for law-abiding citizens.
When the governor tried to push his proposal forward, no Republicans would sponsor the bill. Last week, Democratic versions that tilted heavily toward unpopular gun control were rejected by the GOP majority without debate.
Meanwhile, the Senate gallery was packed with gun rights opponents who booed and jeered when the announcement of extra time for the session was made.
This, along with mainstream media cheerleading for the gun control lobby, gave many the mistaken impression that there is a groundswell of support for gun control in Tennessee. That is patently false.
Lawmakers in both legislative branches, particularly the Senate, strongly pushed back on efforts to deny constitutional rights to those who abide by the law. Senate Speaker Randy McNally (R) told the media that he would not promise compromise with House proposals.
McNally explained, “We might be here for too long of a period of time. We’re waiting to see what happens in the House.”