NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The case of a man waving a gun in a North Nashville church has prompted a debate on Tennessee’s permitless carry.

It happened over the weekend at Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on West Trinity Lane.

Surveillance video shows 26-year-old Dezire Baganda walk up to the pulpit and wave a gun around.
Moments later, the pastor of the church is able to get behind the suspect and take him down without anyone being injured.

Baganda now faces 57 counts of felony aggravated assault.

“This is the situation we find ourselves in, in a state that has passed laws that make it possible for persons to carry guns who have not undergone any type of background check and does not have to have any training and no permit,” said Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings, a recently retired pastor.

She says this latest incident and other gun violence should give state leaders reason to reconsider the permitless carry law.

“What I would like to see our leaders do is lead with integrity, lead with ethics and lead with some common sense,” said Cummings. “It is nonsensical to think it’s okay for anyone to carry a deadly weapon that has not had to prove themself and not have any training.”

On the other hand, Bob Allen, who is director of training at Royal Range in Bellevue believes Sunday’s incident is not a direct cause of permitless carry.

“That has nothing to do with permitless carry. Zero,” said Allen. “That was either somebody who was either a crook or who might have been intellectually disabled — had something going on in the brain and just walked in there and pulled a gun out.”

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Both agree education should be key when it comes to gun carrying.

“This is absolutely not about being against guns,” said Cummings. “I, myself, am a licensed carrier. But, I had to go through so many hours of training to prove myself and have a background check to prove myself.”

“We are in line with permitless carry,” said Allen. “{However} we want some stuff that you should do with it. Like learn the law, learn how to carry it — learn how to shoot it. If you are carrying for self-defense. That’s just obvious stuff you need.”