NASHVILLE, Tenn.(WKRN) – At a huge gathering of state lawmakers from across the country in Nashville, you find out quickly that mass shootings have touched just about every part of the country over the last twenty years.
Some states have changed laws because of the mass shootings.
Others have not.
“The St. Valentine’s Day (school) massacre in Parkland, Florida really impacted us,” says Rep. “Newt” Newton who represents a district in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. “In the legislature, we banned bump stocks and we raised the age limit on purchasing some weapons.”
“One of our own lost their life in Charleston,” says South Carolina State Senator Katrina Shealy.
She was referring to State Senator and Pastor Clementa Pinckney who was one of nine African-American victims at Charleston church mass shooting in 2015.
The shooter convicted was an avowed white supremacist and inspired by the Confederate flag.
Senator Shealy said in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting “the Confederate flag was removed …from in front of the statehouse because it was right there in front.”
“I have had two mass shootings in just my district in Tennessee,” says Nashville State Senator Jeff Yarbro.
He hopes for what he calls “common-sense” gun laws.
“We could …ensure people are not using loopholes to avoid background checks and we could actually make it so we have red flag laws,” says Senator Yarbro.
He’s referring to laws that would “red-flag” gun sales to individuals like the 2018 waffle house shooting suspect in Nashville.
The other Nashville mass shooting occurred in 2017 at an Antioch area church where one person was killed and seven others wounded.
In both Nashville incidents, heroic witnesses wrestled weapons away from the gunman.
The lawmakers from across the country are in Nashville for National Conference of State Lawmakers (NCLS).